[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Oldmans 12-3-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Oldmans Township Committee finds that certain facilities within Oldmans Township have generated an inordinately large number of false alarms. Whenever an alarm is sounded, it is necessary for volunteer firemen and/or police authorities to respond. This results in a cost to the taxpayers of the Township. More importantly, the health and safety of volunteer fire fighters and law enforcement personnel are placed in jeopardy as they respond to these alarms.
It is the intention of the Township Committee to place the responsibility for false alarms upon the owners of those facilities and residences which generate the false alarms. By assessing responsibility in this fashion, the Township Committee believes that owners will become more responsible in the care and maintenance of the equipment that generates the false alarms. Alternatively, a penalty will be assessed in order to recompense the taxpayers for the use of public personnel and equipment.
The following definitions shall apply to the interpretation and the enforcement of this chapter:
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and is designed to attract attention when activated.
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
- An electronically operated or battery-operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits any form of fire alarm or signal, including but not limited to a prerecorded voice alarm from the premises to a law enforcement agency and/or fire company upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of fire.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given to a law enforcement agency and/or fire company to which police and/or fire company personnel respond which is not the result of a fire or similar emergency.
- Any person, firm, corporation or other entity.
[Added 8-9-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-10]
Key box requirement. All properties within the Township of Oldmans having an automatic fire alarm system or a fire sprinkler system shall be equipped with a key box. Residential property shall be exempt from this requirement.
Key box type. The key box shall be of UL type and approved by the Oldmans Township Emergency Management Coordinator. The key box shall be installed in a location approved by the Oldmans Township Emergency Management Coordinator.
Key box contents. The key boxes shall contain the following:
Time for compliance. All existing buildings shall comply within 12 months of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this article. All newly constructed buildings, not yet occupied, or buildings currently under construction shall comply immediately.
Penalties. Any building owner violating this section after notice from the Oldmans Township Emergency Management Coordinator shall be subject to a fine of $100.
All automatic protection devices which are connected to audible alarms shall be equipped with timing devices which shut off the audible alarms after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing device will be unlawful in the Township and must be disconnected by the owner or lessee within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.
No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of an automatic protection device without first obtaining permission from the Fire Chief of the fire company nearest to the facility when the test or demonstration will be performed.
[Amended 8-9-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-10]
For the purpose of defraying the costs to the Township of Oldmans of responding to false alarms, the owner or lessee of an automatic protection device shall pay the Township $300 for each alarm in excess of two within a calendar year. This sum shall be a civil claim by the Township of Oldmans and does not affect the penalty provisions prescribed by § 48-7 hereof.
Any owner, lessee, or user of an automatic protection device which emits two or more false alarms within a period of 30 days shall be in violation of this chapter and subject to the penalty provisions prescribed by § 48-7 hereof. Any penalty assessed pursuant to § 48-7 shall be in addition to the civil claim assessed under § 48-6.
Any person adjudged to be guilty of a violation of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days, or both. Each violation of this chapter shall subject the offender to a separate penalty.