[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Upper Moreland Township 11-10-2008 by Ord. No. 1569 (Title 7, Ch. 14, of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM VERIFICATION FEATURE
- A fire alarm system component designed to allow a power-down period (processing delay) of not more than 15 seconds, during which time the detection of smoke is verified at least once before an automatic detection device is activated.
- ALARM VERIFICATION FEATURE REQUIRED IN SOME BUILDINGS
- The Fire Marshal shall direct the installation of an alarm verification feature on all new and existing automatic fire detection systems, as he shall deem necessary, in order to reduce the occurrence of unfounded alarm activations.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior/exterior of a building or a vehicle and emits an audible warning signal outside the building and designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring police and/or fire personnel to respond.
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
- An electrically operated instrument, composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware, which automatically transmits a prerecorded voice alarm over regular telephone line by direct or indirect connection to the Police and/or Fire Department upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of a fire or intrusion.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of the Upper Moreland Township Police Department.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Willow Grove Fire Company, or any such additional fire companies hereafter organized as the Board of Commissioners may by ordinance or resolution receive into the Department, or any other fire company responding pursuant to any mutual aid agreement.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- The Fire Marshal of Upper Moreland Township.
- Any person or persons, male or female, corporation, partnership, association, company, individual, owner, occupant, lessee or any agency, organization or other entity recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Township of Upper Moreland Police Department or any other police department responding pursuant to an intermunicipal police agreement.
- The Township of Upper Moreland, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
- UNFOUNDED ALARM
- Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given the Police and/or Fire Communications Center to which Police and/or Fire Department respond, which is not the result of a fire, smoke, hazardous gas, burglary, robbery or attempted burglary or robbery or similar emergency and where the responding department was not properly notified prior to dispatch of a signal activation. Such notice shall be to the dispatch center for the responding emergency department.
Persons must equip audible 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 Township. Failure of the alarm to silence within 15 minutes shall be considered a violation of this chapter. Excepted from this requirement are fire-suppression systems with audible alarms activated by the flow of water.
The Fire Marshal shall direct the installation of an alarm verification feature on all new and existing automatic fire detection systems, as he shall deem necessary, in order to reduce the occurrence of unfounded alarm activations.
No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of an automatic protection device without first obtaining permission from the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal. 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 and/or Fire Departments.
Every subscriber or user of an alarm device (except for vehicle alarms) shall register with the Police Department on a form provided by the Township, which shall include the following information:
The name, residence, and telephone number of the user.
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
The name, address and telephone number of at least two persons who are authorized to gain entry into the protected premises, who are available to respond within 30 minutes of notification, and who are qualified to silence and/or reset the alarm.
All information furnished pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential and shall be for the exclusive use of the Chief of Police and the Fire Marshal.
Any person, subscriber or alarm agent who causes in excess of three unfounded alarms within any period of 12 consecutive months shall be liable to pay civil penalties in accordance with the following schedule:
In the absence of an apparent evidence of fire, unlawful entry, or other emergency/extraordinary occurrence beyond the control of the alarm owner, the alarm shall be deemed to be unfounded. The alarm owner shall have the burden of proof to establish extraordinary occurrence beyond the control of the alarm owner, and in any proceeding to enforce the imposition of these civil penalties, the Township can establish the facts of response from police reports compiled in the normal course of business.
This chapter shall in no way modify, alter or diminish the requirements pursuant to any other Township or state ordinance, statute or regulation with respect to the installation, maintenance, permitting or licensing of fire protection systems.
Failure of any person, subscriber or alarm agent to comply with the requirements of this chapter or comply with written notice of a violation, including failure to pay unfounded alarm penalty, shall constitute an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus cost of prosecution and penalty.