[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethel 10-27-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 220.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Bethel by reducing the number of avoidable false alarms. False alarms result in unnecessary use of manpower and ineffective utilization of police, ambulance, fire and rescue equipment. This chapter seeks to ensure that police, ambulance, fire and rescue emergency personnel are available for dispatch to actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible false alarms to the surrounding community.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Includes a device or an assembly of equipment which emits an audible, visual, or other similar response which is intended to alert persons outside a premises to the existence of a hazard or emergency; or which is connected to a central station or answering service for the purpose of reporting such alarms to emergency agencies.
- ALARM USER
- Includes any person who owns, leases, or uses an alarm system within the Town of Bethel.
- FALSE ALARM
- Includes the activation of any alarm system that is not occasioned by a local or regional power outage, weather conditions, natural disaster, criminal act, fire or other emergency.
- KEY-HOLDER SYSTEM
- A system under which an alarm user permits access to emergency services personnel to any premises with an alarm system through the installation of a Knox-Box or similar product that stores keys or access cards.
Alarm users shall be required to annually register on a calendar year basis each alarm system they own, lease, or use with the Town of Bethel Building Department. There shall be a one-time registration fee of $25 for the initial registration of each alarm system. The amount of the initial registration fee may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. An alarm registration shall not be transferable to another person or alarm site. Alarm users shall be required to notify the Town of Bethel of any change in their registration information within 30 days of such change.
All alarm users who have installed an operating alarm system shall also install a Knox-Box or provide another key-holder system approved by the Town of Bethel Building Department.
Alarm users shall be liable for false alarms, including, without limitation, false alarms arising from improper use or operation of an alarm system, defective installation of an alarm system, the failure to repair an alarm system, or the use of defective equipment in connection with an alarm system, but shall not be liable for the activation of an alarm system under circumstances where the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists.
All alarm systems which employ an audible signal or flashing light beacon designed to signal persons outside the premises must be deactivated and silenced automatically within 15 minutes.
Emergency officials are hereby authorized to disable an audible alarm signal that has not been silenced within 15 minutes and neither the Town, its officers and employees, nor constables and fire officials, shall be liable for any damage which may result from disabling an audible alarm signal as herein provided.
Persons who violate this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and subject to punishment by a fine for the occurrence of one or more false alarms in any twelve-month period, as determined by the date of the occurrence, as follows:
All violations of this chapter shall be returnable before, and all false alarm fines shall be collected by, the Town Justice Court.
The Town of Bethel shall not be liable for any defects in operation of emergency alarm systems, for any failure to respond appropriately or for any erroneous response upon receipt of any emergency alarm signal; nor shall the Town of Bethel be liable for the failure or defect of any installation, operation, or maintenance of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals or messages, or the relaying of such signals or messages. In the event that the Town of Bethel finds it necessary to disconnect a defective alarm or device, the Town shall incur no liability therefrom. In addition, if emergency personnel acting on behalf of the Town, or any of its fire or ambulance districts, must gain access to any premises at which an alarm system is installed as a result of having been summoned by said alarm system, the Town, its employees or any of its fire or ambulance district emergency personnel shall not be liable for any damage caused by a forced entry to said premises.
None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to any device for which the primary function is as a smoke detector, heat detector, or CO detector, unless such device is connected to a central station or answering service for the purpose of reporting such alarms to emergency agencies.
None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to any alarm system installed in any building, structure, trailer, or motor vehicle owned or leased by the Town of Bethel.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or work of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions hereof.