[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Spencerport 3-14-1991 by L.L. No. 2-1991 (Ch. 26 of the 1988 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Local Law Regulating Alarm Systems in the Village of Spencerport."
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village of Spencerport by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to emergency agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to a high accident rate and delayed responses to genuine emergencies. This chapter seeks to ensure that police, fire communications and ambulance facilities will be available to dispatch police, fire and ambulance personnel for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible alarms in the Village. Another purpose of this chapter is to provide the Village with the names of responsible people to contact in the case of activation of an alarm.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM PERMIT
- The written authorization of the license authority granted to any person, business, firm, corporation or other entity to install or maintain or cause to be installed or maintained in his place of residence or business any police, fire or medical emergency alarm device, devices or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or an assembly of equipment which emits an audible response, which is intended to alert persons outside a premises to the existence of a hazard or emergency or which is intended to alert emergency agencies by automatically dialing an emergency agency or which is connected to a private answering point for the purpose of reporting such alarms to emergency agencies or which is directly connected to the Emergency Communications Center or other emergency agency.
- ALARM USER
- Any person who owns, leases or uses an alarm system within the Village of Spencerport except for a person whose alarm system is on a motor vehicle or is a proprietary system. If, however, an alarm system on a motor vehicle is connected with an alarm system at a premises (other than a proprietary system) in the Village of Spencerport, the person using such system is an "alarm user."
- AUTOMATIC DIAL ALARM
- Any police, fire or emergency medical alarm device which is a telephone device or telephone attachment that automatically or electronically transmits a signal to preselected telephone lines connected to a central alarm station or police headquarters and reproduces a prerecorded message to report a criminal act or other emergency requiring police, fire or medical emergency response.
- AVOIDABLE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, false alarm or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of an alarm system or of his employees or agents or through any other cause which, through direct connection to an emergency agency or through notification of an emergency agency by a private answering point or automatic dialing device or through notification to an emergency agency by any second party or means indicates that an emergency situation exists requiring response within the Village when, in fact, an emergency situation does not exist. An "avoidable alarm" also includes the knowing or intentional activation of an alarm to an emergency agency when the activator knows that an emergency situation does not exist. An "avoidable alarm" does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or any other similar cause beyond the control of the user of the alarm system. Activation of an alarm system under any circumstances which the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists is not an "avoidable alarm." Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, the defective installation of an alarm system, the failure to repair or cause to be repaired an alarm system or the use of defective equipment in connection with an alarm system shall not constitute an extraordinary circumstance beyond the reasonable control of the alarm user.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of police, fire, or medical emergency alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals to the Police Department or Fire Department when appropriate.
- EMERGENCY AGENCY
- Any Police Department, Fire Department or other law enforcement agency or ambulance company (public or private) or other agency summoned to respond to an emergency situation and any public safety answering point serving the Village of Spencerport.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Village of Spencerport.
- LICENSING OFFICE
- The office of the Town Clerk of the Town of Ogden.
- LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
- A signaling system which, when activated, causes an audible signaling device to be activated outside the premises within which the system is installed.
- NOTICE ADDRESS
- The address which an alarm user designates on the application for a permit as the address to which notices are to be sent.
- Any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE ANSWERING POINT
- A business which offers the service of receiving emergency signals, monitoring said signals and relaying them to an emergency agency.
- PROPRIETARY SYSTEM
- An alarm, sounding and/or recording within the premises protected by the alarm, which is not intended to alert persons outside of the premises on which the alarm system is located of a possible hazard and not intended to alert an emergency agency, the control center being under the supervision of the proprietor of the protected premises. If a proprietary system includes a signal line connected directly or by means of an automatic device to an emergency agency or to a private answering point or to a local alarm system, it thereby becomes an "alarm system" as defined in this chapter.
- SMOKE AND/OR HEAT DETECTOR
- Any device which, when activated by fire or smoke or other emergency, is designed to alert only the occupants of the building in which the smoke and/or heat detectors are installed of said emergency.
- The Village of Spencerport.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to proprietary systems.
Permits shall be required for alarm systems located in buildings of federal, state or local governmental agencies or authorities or in public or private elementary schools, but said alarms shall be exempt from the permit fee, but said alarms shall be subject to the fines and penalties herein provided for avoidable alarms.
No person shall own, use, lease, operate or maintain an alarm system, other than a proprietary system, within the Village of Spencerport unless such person shall have first obtained from the licensing office a permit for such alarm, as herein provided.
In order to obtain an alarm user permit, any person who operates an alarm system shall submit an application for such permit in the form designated by the Village, which application shall contain the following:
The name, home address and telephone number of the person applying for the permit.
The address of the premises upon which the alarm system is or will be located.
The address to which notices required under this chapter shall be sent.
The type of alarm system for which the permit is sought.
The name of the alarm business or businesses selling, installing, monitoring, inspecting, responding to and/or maintaining the alarm system, if applicable.
The name, address and telephone number of two or more persons who can be reached at any time and who are authorized by the owner of the premises in which the system is installed to open the premises.
Any other information relating to the alarm system or user as the Village may require.
The information required on the permit application shall be treated as confidential and shall not be made available to members of the general public. The Village Board finds that the release of such information would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy and could endanger the life or safety of persons at the premises where an alarm system is located. The information on a permit application shall be used only for public safety purposes.
Upon the receipt of a properly executed permit application, the licensing office shall issue an alarm user permit to the applicant. Alarm user permits shall not be transferable, shall be kept on the premises where the alarm system is located and shall be made available for inspection by emergency agency officers.
An alarm user permit shall expire on April 30 next following its date of issuance.
The alarm user shall be notified in writing, by means of first-class mail sent to the notice address listed on the permit application, when an alarm user has had three avoidable alarms during the permit year. The notice shall inform the alarm user that additional avoidable alarms will subject the alarm user to the excessive use fee as specified in this chapter for each additional avoidable alarm. At the end of the permit year, each alarm user shall be notified of the number of avoidable alarms incurred during the preceding year and the amount to be charged for the renewal of the alarm user permit, as well as the amount due for the previous year's excessive use fee. The notice shall be in writing and shall be sent by first-class mail to the notice address listed on the application. All moneys shall be due within 30 days from the date the notice was mailed.
The excessive use fee shall be as follows:
Up to three avoidable fire alarms: $25 per alarm.
Four or more avoidable fire alarms: $100 per alarm.
An alarm user permit shall be revoked whenever 10 or more avoidable alarms are recorded for a system in any one permit year. Notice of such revocation shall be sent via first-class mail, to the notice address listed on the permit application at least 15 days before the revocation takes effect. The alarm user may reinstate a revoked permit by the payment of the excessive use fee for each avoidable alarm in excess of three (the excessive use fee shall be as specified in § 103-11 of this chapter) and by submission of proof that modifications have been made to the alarm system or other steps have been effected so as to reduce the number of avoidable alarms. An alarm user permit shall not be revoked under this section if said alarm system is required by federal, state or local law. However, all other provisions of this chapter shall apply to such systems and the user thereof shall remain responsible for the payment of all authorized fees.
Any emergency agency, as herein defined, desiring to initiate enforcement of this chapter against an alarm user who has generated avoidable alarms shall comply with the following requirements:
The emergency agency shall send to the licensing office an alarm incident report containing the information required in § 103-14 within seven days of the alarm call.
A copy of the avoidable alarm incident report shall be mailed by the emergency agency, via first-class mail, to the alarm user to the notice address listed on the permit application.
An alarm user receiving a notice of an avoidable alarm may challenge such classification by notifying the emergency agency in writing, specifying in detail the reasons why the alleged avoidable alarm should not be so classified. The challenging notice must be received by the emergency agency within 20 days after notification to the alarm user. A hearing may be requested by the alarm user with the notice. The failure to give timely notice shall be deemed a waiver of the right to challenge the classification.
Within a reasonable time, but not more than 45 days after receipt of a notice from an alarm user challenging the classification of an alarm as an avoidable alarm, the emergency agency shall make a final determination, which shall be reviewable by the Village Board.
Within 10 days after a final determination has been made by the emergency agency and/or Village Board, a copy thereof shall be filed with the licensing office and a copy mailed or otherwise given to the alarm user.
Whenever an emergency agency files an avoidable alarm report, such report shall contain the following information:
Alarm systems which are interconnected or otherwise transmit signals directly to the Emergency Communications Center shall be subject to the laws, rules, regulations and penalties adopted by the County of Monroe relating to such systems.
All local alarm systems shall become deactivated and silenced automatically after a period of time not to exceed 15 minutes.
Police and/or fire officials may disable an audible alarm signal that has not been silenced prior to the expiration of the fifteen-minute period and shall not be liable for any damage that may result.
In addition to any other fees or penalties provided for in this chapter, a violation of § 103-5 of this chapter shall be deemed an offense and shall be punishable by a mandatory fine of not less than $100, nor more than $250; provided, however, that no person shall be charged with such offense until 15 days after notice to said person that he is required to obtain an alarm user permit, and further provided that no charge shall be filed against a person so notified if he obtains a permit during said fifteen-day period. A person found guilty of violating § 103-5 shall not be excused from obtaining the required permit.
All alarm permit fees and false alarm charges shall be paid to the licensing authority.
It shall be the duty of the licensing office to maintain a record of alarm permits issued and to make a monthly report of the same to the Chief of Police.
The provisions and requirements of this chapter shall apply to all persons who are alarm users on the effective date of this chapter and to all persons who subsequently become alarm users.