[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Quarryville 11-2-1987 by Ord. No. 251. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Borough Council finds that: there has been a proliferation of installation and use of commercial and residential automatic burglar and robbery alarm systems within the Borough, a substantial increase in the number of false alarms being reported from these systems which have required police response, and that the unregulated use of such alarm systems poses a substantial threat to the orderly and effective provision of emergency services by the Police Department, so hereby declares it to be necessary to provide for the greater control and more effective regulations of alarm systems, alarm businesses and users.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "The Quarryville Borough Emergency Police and Fire Alarm Ordinance."
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- ALARM EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
- Any person, firm, corporation or other entity engaged in the business of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, or installing any alarm system or causing it to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic protection devices reporting an emergency at a stated location and who have the duty to relay immediately by live voice only such emergency message over a direct trunk line to the Communications Center of the Police or Fire Departments.
- 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 designated to attract attention when activated.
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
- Any mechanical or electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry or attempted entry into a building, structure or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility or both and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated.
- The Borough of Quarryville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
- CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
- A protective system, or group of such systems, operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which maintains supervisors and accepts recorded messages from automatic protection devices at a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times that have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages by designated or primary trunk line to the Communications Center of the Police or Fire Departments.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Quarryville Police Department or designee fulfilling functions as Chief of Police.
- DESIGNATED TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line leading into the Communications Center of the Police or Fire Departments that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages which originate from automatic protection devices and are transmitted directly or indirectly through an intermediary.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any
audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given
the Police or Fire Communications Center to which police officers
or firefighters respond, which is not the result of a fire, burglary,
robbery or similar emergency.[Amended 6-1-2020 by Ord. No. 439]
- FIRE CHIEF
- The Fire Chief of Quarryville Fire Company No. 1 of Quarryville Borough, or designee fulfilling functions of Fire Chief.
- FIRE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
- The Quarryville County Communications Center servicing the Fire Department.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Quarryville Fire Company No. 1 of Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
- A central station protective system or an answering service as herein defined.
- To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic protection device.
- The Manager of Quarryville Borough or designee fulfilling functions of Manager.
- Written permission duly granted to a qualified applicant by the Borough upon payment of the required fee of $10.
- POLICE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
- The police communications room and other rooms which house auxiliary communication equipment.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Quarryville Borough Police Department and/or the Lancaster Countywide communications system.
- PRIMARY TRUNK LINE
- A telephone line leading into the Communications Center of the Police or Fire Departments that is for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person-to-person basis, and which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the Commonwealth Telephone Company.
After the enactment of this chapter, owners or lessees must equip alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism shall be unlawful in the Borough and must be disconnected by the user within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.
No automatic protection device installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be keyed to a primary trunk line without first receiving written permission from the Chief of Police of Quarryville.
After the effective date of this chapter, all automatic protection devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Police Department or Fire Department shall be keyed to a designated trunk line unless permission has been granted under Subsection A.
Within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter, existing automatic protection devices in the Borough shall be disconnected from primary trunk lines unless application is made and written permission granted by the Chief of Police of Quarryville.
Any person who has an automatic protection device in the Borough may arrange to have such device keyed to an intermediary authorized to relay emergency messages to the Police or Fire Departments.
The relay of messages by authorized intermediaries shall be over a designated trunk line.
Automatic protection devices keyed to an authorized intermediary may also be keyed to another telephone which the owner or lessee of the automatic protection device has available to himself or his representative at some other location.
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, every alarm equipment supplier who has keyed an automatic protection device in the Borough to the designated trunk line shall furnish to the Chief of Police and to the Fire Chief a current list of such installations which shall include:
The telephone number of the owner or lessee.
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
The name, address and telephone number of a central station protective system or any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed.
The name and telephone number of any person, firm or corporation, if any, other than the alarm equipment supplier who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the automatic protection device.
By the fifth working day of each month following the submission of the initial list, every alarm equipment supplier shall furnish the Police Department and the Fire Department with a supplemental list of any additional installations he has keyed to the designated trunk lines, along with any corrections to or deletions from lists previously furnished. An alarm equipment supplier who enters into the business after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish a list containing the information specified in Subsection A by the fifth working day of the month following a first installation and shall, thereafter, furnish supplemental lists as required by this section.
All information furnished pursuant to these sections shall be kept confidential and shall be used by the designated personnel of the Police Department and the Fire Department only.
Automatic protection devices installed in the Borough that are keyed to designated trunk lines shall meet the following requirements:
The type and content of recorded messages must be in a form approved prior to installation by the Chief of Police or the Fire Chief, as appropriate.
No more than one call shall be made over a designated trunk line to the Police Department or Fire Department as a result of a single activation of the automatic protection device.
The time for transmitting each recorded message shall not exceed 15 seconds.
Recorded messages may be repeated during one call, but the interval between each recorded message shall be no less than four seconds.
All components comprising such a device must be maintained by the owner or lessee in good repair.
Each alarm equipment supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the Borough which is keyed to a designated trunk line shall make service available directly or through an agent on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven days a week.
At the time of installation, an alarm equipment supplier shall furnish to any buyer or lessee using a repair service written information as to how service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number of the alarm equipment supplier or agent responsible for service. The buyer or lessee and the alarm equipment supplier or agent supplying a service shall be responsible for having the device disconnected or repaired as quickly as possible after notice that the automatic protection device is not functioning properly.
When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operational requirements set forth in § 90-8 are received by the Police Department or the Fire Department, and the Borough Council concludes that the automatic protection device sending such messages should be disconnected in order to relieve the particular department of the burden of responding to false alarms, the Borough Council is authorized to demand that the owner or lessee of the device, or his representative, disconnect the device until it is made to comply with the operational requirements. If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished promptly and the Borough Council determines that the malfunctioning device is repeatedly sending false alarms without any intermittent valid alarms, the Borough Council may then order that the defective automatic protection device be disconnected.
For the purpose of enforcing this chapter and as a condition of installing and maintaining an automatic protection device, the owner or lessee thereof shall execute a consent in such form as may be prescribed by the Mayor or Borough Manager which will authorize the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief to enter upon a lessee's or owner's premises within the Borough of Quarryville, at such reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, to inspect the installation and operation of an automatic protection device.
No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of an automatic protection device without first obtaining permission from the Police and Fire Departments. Where the equipment is keyed through an intermediary, no such permission is necessary unless the alarm or signal is to be relayed to the Police Department or the Fire Department.
To defray the cost to the Borough of responding to a false alarm, the user of an automatic protection device, and persons using the services of intermediaries, and users of audible alarms, and users of any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the Police or Fire Communications Centers, except persons using the two-way live voice communication by telephone, shall, as a condition to installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, execute a consent in such form as may be prescribed by the Mayor or Borough Manager that such owner, lessee or user shall pay the Borough the sum of $20 for each false alarm over two per calendar month, and the sum of $20 for each false alarm over six per calendar year, which sum or sums shall constitute to a civil claim by the Borough, and does not effect the penalty provisions prescribed in § 90-14 hereof.
Any such owner, lessee or user who fails to execute the consent described in Subsection A, within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, shall, within the ninety-day period, disconnect the alarm, automatic protection device or any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the Police or Fire Communications Centers and shall discontinue using the services of any intermediaries.
Failure of any person to comply with the requirements of written notice of a violation of any provision hereof, within three days of receipt of such notice, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, shall constitute an offense, punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $300. Costs of prosecution to be collectible before any Magisterial District Judge as like fines and penalties are now by law collectible. Such notice shall continue in force and effect until full compliance with the requirements stated therein, and each and every failure to comply with such notice within 24 hours after the three days allowed for compliance shall constitute a separate offense.
False alarm violation. Any person found guilty of misuse, false activation or continual accidental activation shall be liable for a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $300, plus costs of prosecution for each and every activation to be collectible before any Magisterial District Judge as like fines or penalties are now by law collectible.