[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton as Ch. 10 of the 1994 Code of Ordinances; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of intrusion, burglar, fire, smoke and other emergency alarm devices, whether it is a dial alarm or a local alarm.
[Amended 12-15-2020 by Ord. No. 20-057]
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who operates, maintains or owns any dial alarm, local alarm or direct line hookup alarm to any alarm company, answering service or police alarm board which is designed to summon the police, Division of Fire or other municipal agency to any location in response to any type of alarm signal.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- DIAL ALARM
- A type of device using telephone lines to transmit an alarm directly through the police switchboard.
- DIRECT LINE HOOKUP
- Any alarm that goes directly to any answering service.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence, unintentional act or accident by a resident or some other person authorized to be in the house or building, or any alarm that is transmitted to the Police Division which, when checked, shows no evidence in the house or other alarmed building of any intruder having gained entry or having attempted to gain entry, or no intruder inside the house or building. These alarms shall be deemed to be a malfunction of the alarm device, and such malfunction is also determined to be a false alarm.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm or device which, when activated, produces a visual or noise signal and which is not connected by telephone line to the police switchboard.
- RADIO TRANSMITTED ALARM
- A two-way radio network which connects an alarm system to the central monitoring station without wires.
Alarm devices which automatically use a pretaped or prerecorded verbal message or other type of message which alerts the Police Division of the Township that an emergency exists or that its services are needed through the use of these systems, and which automatically dial any telephone number to obtain such services, are hereby prohibited.
Persons having either a dial or local alarm device shall be required to leave with the Police Division the name of a person or persons (with regular and cell phone numbers) who can be reached in case of malfunction of the equipment in order that the device can be temporarily disconnected.
Persons having alarm devices which are being tested or repaired shall notify the Police Division before tests or repairs commence and after completion so as to avoid the possibility of activating a false alarm.
If access to the premises cannot otherwise be gained within a thirty-minute period, then, at any time thereafter, any police officer may enter any premises in order to deactivate any such alarm by forced entry, if no other means are readily available, and in such event neither the Chief of Police nor any police officer, nor the Police Division, nor the Township, nor any of its representatives, shall be responsible to the property owner or any other person in interest for any damage which may result from the forced entry, provided that the means of said forced entry are reasonable and consistent with the purpose of this provision.
All alarms must have an automatic reset device with a five-to-ten automatic shutoff and reset feature.
Knowledge of false alarm; investigation. In any case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Police Division in the fastest possible manner. The Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made of all false alarms and keep a record of such alarms on file.
Exception to charge. If any alarm comes in and the officer on duty deems it to be caused by any storm, hurricane or severe weather condition, power failure or power restoration or any type of line malfunction, between the home, alarm receiving company or Police Division, or any other similar occurrence, the alarm shall be noted but not charged against the homeowner or business as a false alarm.
For false alarms, the Township prescribes the following penalties:
For the first through fifth false alarm in any given calendar year, a warning shall be issued.
For the sixth and seventh false alarm in the same calendar year, a fine of $25 shall be paid to the Township.
For the eighth and any subsequent false alarms in the same calendar year, a fine of $50 shall be paid to the Township.
After the eighth false alarm in any given calendar year, the Township reserves the right to require the disconnection of the device for a limited time or permanently.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the general alerting alarms that may be used by fire companies, ambulance squads or civil defense agencies to summon response of their members. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to alarm systems that are affixed to motor vehicles.
The provisions contained in this chapter shall apply equally to those alarm systems that were placed in service prior to or subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.
The Township shall not be liable for any defects in operation of any automatic dial alarms and alarm devices, or for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such a source, or for the failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals or prerecorded alarm messages or the relaying of such signals and messages, and, in the event that the Township finds it necessary to disconnect any alarm for any reason, the Township shall incur no liability by such action.