[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of South Bristol 8-8-1988 as L.L. No. 1-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention and building construction — See Ch. 84.
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of South Bristol by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to the fire and emergency medical services agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to a high accident rate and delay responses to genuine emergencies. This chapter seeks to ensure that fire and emergency medical services agencies will be available for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of false alarms to the surrounding community.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases shall be construed herein as set forth in this section, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:
- ALARM SYSTEM INSTALLER
- Any person whose duties include installing, maintaining, repairing, altering, servicing or replacing a fire alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- A person who perfects an appeal pursuant to this chapter.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device designed for the detection of fire which generates an audible sound on the premises when it is activated.
- AVOIDABLE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of an alarm system or his employees or agents or through any other cause which, through direct connection to an emergency agency or through notification of an emergency agency by a private answering point or automatic dialing device or through notification to an emergency agency by any other second party or means, indicates that an emergency situation exists requiring an emergency response within the Town of South Bristol when in fact an emergency situation does not exist. An "avoidable alarm" also includes the knowing or intentional activation of an alarm to an emergency agency when the activator knows that an emergency does not exist. "Avoidable alarm" does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or any other similar cause beyond the control of the user of an alarm system. Activation of an alarm system under any circumstance in which the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists is not an "avoidable alarm."
- Calendar day.
- EMERGENCY MEDICAL ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designated or used to transmit a signal or message that emergency medical personnel, equipment and/or an emergency ambulance is needed.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designated or used for the detection of fire or smoke and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. "Fire alarm systems" include, but are not limited to, direct-dial telephone devices, audible alarms and proprietor alarms. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility are not included within this definition, nor are auxiliary devices installed by the telephone company or a cable television company to protect its systems which might be damaged or disrupted by this use of an alarm system, nor are battery-operated or hand-wired devices designed or used solely to detect fire and smoke and alert occupants where such devices do not register an automatic signal to a fire department or service that, in turn, alerts the fire department.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- The Fire Marshal of the Town of South Bristol or his deputy, as may be from time to time appointed by the Town Board.
- Written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee or given by United States Mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address. Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service or upon the placing of the same in the custody of the United States Postal Service.
- A natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
- REMOTE AUTOMATIC ALARM
- Any device installed in or on any structure within the Town of South Bristol for the purpose of detecting the presence of an intruder or of smoke or fire and which is capable of communicating an alarm or signal by electronic, telephonic or other means to a receiver maintained by any fire or emergency medical services agency or by any state or local government or by an agency or subdivision thereof.
- Any person who owns, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains an alarm system. A person or entity may be both a "subscriber" and an alarm business.
The Fire Marshal may prescribe minimum standards and regulations for the construction or maintenance of all alarm systems installed within the town. These standards and regulations shall become effective upon adoption thereof by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of South Bristol. All systems must be installed to meet minimum standards as may be promulgated from time to time by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). The regulations shall provide that the alarm system must be repaired within twenty-four (24) hours of the occurrence of an avoidable alarm that is caused by mechanical malfunction.
Every person maintaining an audible alarm shall post a notice containing the names and telephone numbers of the persons to be notified to render repairs or service and secure the premises during any hour of the day or night that the alarm is activated. Such notice shall be posted near the alarm in such a position as to be legible from the ground level adjacent to the building where the alarm system is located. In lieu thereof, such person may maintain such information with the Fire Marshal, Town of South Bristol.
[Amended 3-23-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993]
From and after the effective date of this chapter, no person shall engage in the business of installing security or fire alarm systems or hold himself out as being able to do so within the Town of South Bristol, Ontario County, New York, unless such person is duly qualified and currently licensed pursuant to the provisions of Article 6-D of the General Business Law of the State of New York.
Any person who shall have such license suspended or revoked pursuant to Article 6-D of the General Business Law shall be thereafter prohibited from selling or installing such systems until reinstatement of such license.
Prior to the sale and/or installation of any remote automatic alarm system within the Town of South Bristol, a registration permit must be obtained from the Town Clerk of the Town of South Bristol. The fee for the issuance of this permit shall be as established from time to time by the Town Board by resolution. The permit will require:
Property owner's name.
Address of the installation.
Nearest road intersection or landmark.
Type of alarm.
Public safety agency to be notified and telephone number to be used.
Property owner name and address if the protected property is not owner-occupied.
Name, address and phone number of alarm vendor and installer.
A permit application, obtained from the Town Clerk, must be completed in its entirety and submitted to the Town Clerk by United States Mail or during normal hours of business. After review of the application and previous alarm activities by the Fire Marshal, action to grant or deny the application will be made by the Fire Marshal. The applicant will be notified of the granting or denial of the permit within three (3) days of the receipt of the properly completed permit application.
A copy of the approved subscriber permit will be forwarded by the Town Clerk to the public safety agency providing protection for that purpose for which this alarm is approved.
In the event that an automatic alarm system is installed prior to the effective date of this chapter and such system thereafter experiences an avoidable alarm as herein defined, the owner of the premises at which such avoidable alarm occurred must apply for a subscriber permit within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of such avoidable alarm.
The following shall constitute violation of this chapter:
The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
The failure to comply with standards or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.
Where his fire or emergency medical service alarm system activates excessive avoidable alarms and thereby constitutes a public nuisance, which shall be deemed to be three (3) avoidable alarms in any one-hundred-eighty-day period.
A subscriber has failed to keep his alarm system(s) in good repair.
A subscriber has failed to notify the appropriate fire or emergency medical service agencies and any party who would receive direct communication of an alarm prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance, adjustment, alteration or installation which might activate an avoidable alarm. For the purposes of these standards and regulations, any alarm activated where such prior notice has been given shall not constitute an avoidable alarm.
Authority. If the Fire Marshal shall find any violations of this chapter, he shall have the authority to order the correction of such violation within a time period designated by such order. If the violation has not been corrected within the time set forth, he shall have the authority to issue an appearance ticket charging the violation and mandating the person so served to appear before a Town Justice to answer said charges.
In addition to the penalties provided by law as set forth in this chapter, appropriate proceedings may be brought in the name of the town to enjoin and restrain the continued violation of this chapter.
The person alleged in violation of this chapter shall be given notice of the investigation and an opportunity to be heard during the investigation process. The Fire Marshal may hold a hearing if, in his sole discretion, it is deemed appropriate. Upon completion of his investigation, the Fire Marshal shall make a determination which shall be final. The Fire Marshal shall give notice of said decision to the party who made the report which initiated the investigation.
If a person is found to be in violation of this chapter, the Fire Marshal shall serve the person determined to be in violation with a written order of suspension. Said order shall be effective immediately, if personally served, or three (3) business days after the same has been deposited in the United States Postal Service.
Immediately upon such an order becoming effective, the person in violation shall discontinue use of any alarm system.
Penalties. In addition to other provisions of this chapter, persons in violation thereof shall be liable for civil penalties as follows:
Enforcement. All remedies shall be cumulative, and the use of one (1) or more remedies by the town shall not bar the use of any other remedy for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The amount of any civil penalty shall be deemed a debt to the town.
The appropriate fire or emergency medical service agencies shall report to the Fire Marshal the name, address and time of each avoidable alarm within five (5) days of the occurrence of the avoidable alarm.
Any person aggrieved by a determination of the Fire Marshal shall have the right to appeal such determination to the Town Board. Such appeal shall be made within thirty (30) days of the date of the determination and shall be made upon such forms as may be established for that purpose by the Fire Marshal and approved by the Town Board. During the pendency of the appeal, all proceedings before the Town Justice shall be stayed.
The Town Board shall conduct a public hearing not less than ten (10) days after publication in the Special Town Paper of a notice of public hearing and shall render its decision within thirty (30) days of such public hearing. At such public hearing all interested persons may be heard and given incidence, or statements may be submitted in writing.
The Town Board may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the order, requirement, decision or determination as in its opinion ought to be made. The Town Board is empowered to authorize, upon appeal in special cases, such variances from the terms of this chapter as will not be contrary to the public interest. In granting any variance, the Town Board may prescribe any conditions that it deems to be necessary or desirable to preserve the public interest.