[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Danville 9-8-1998 by Ord. No. 396 (Ch. 42 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to create administrative and enforcement remedies in order to deter and reduce the number of false alarms of fire or other emergency originating within the Borough of Danville. This chapter does not provide criminal penalties for knowingly causing a false alarm; such actions are addressed in the Crimes Code of Pennsylvania at Title 18, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Section 4905, entitled "False Alarm to Agencies of Public Safety." The penalties of this chapter may be imposed regardless of or in addition to any criminal penalties provided by the Crimes Code.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any call, sound, light or other signal for giving notice of an emergency.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any electric, telephonic, electronic and/or mechanical device or combination of devices designed to summon the Fire Department or other agency for dealing with emergencies involving real or threatened danger to persons or property. This term shall not include devices which are designed solely to warn the occupants of a particular structure of potential danger, but not to summon the Fire Department or other agency (for example, residential smoke detectors which are not designed to summon the Fire Department).
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm from an alarm system which results in a response by personnel and/or equipment from the Fire Department or other agency, but which is erroneous or not true in that there was not an actual emergency involving real or threatened danger to persons or property. This term includes all false alarms, regardless of whether or not a false alarm was transmitted knowingly or intentionally.
The owner and operator of any alarm system shall be responsible for keeping the alarm system in good repair and for maintaining the system in such manner as to prevent the system from transmitting any false alarms.
Whenever any false alarm has been transmitted by an alarm system, the Police Department shall cause an investigation to be made. The Police Department shall keep a record of all false alarms transmitted by any alarm system.
The following sanctions shall be imposed for false alarms:
First and second alarms. During any calendar year, a warning shall be issued for the first two false alarms transmitted by any alarm system. The warning shall be issued by the Police Department to the person occupying the premises where the alarm system is located. The first false alarm warning shall include a copy of the chapter. The second false alarm warning shall include a statement that any further false alarms will subject the person to further sanctions as set forth in this chapter.
For third and subsequent false alarms.
During any calendar year, the owner and the operator of the alarm system are subject to a civil penalty on the following schedule:
In addition the owner and the operator shall be responsible for payment of all court costs and attorney fees incurred by the Borough in bringing a civil enforcement action.
The notice required by this section may be given by personal service or by first class mail. Notice by mail to the owner of the premises shall be sufficient if addressed to the owner at the address maintained by the Danville Borough Tax Collector for the owner. However, if notice is unable to be given by personal service or by mail, the notice required by this section may be posted on the premises.
A person that owns, uses or possesses an alarm device or automatic dialing device may not, after causing or permitting three false alarms to occur in a consecutive twelve-month period, cause or permit a subsequent false alarm to occur in the same consecutive twelve-month period. A person that violates this subsection commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300.
Such criminal penalties may be imposed regardless of whether a civil enforcement action is brought under this chapter.
The Chief of Police or his designee is authorized to bring any action provided under this chapter.