Town of Medfield, MA
Norfolk County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Medfield as indicated in Article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Art. IV, Sec. 25, of the 1926 Bylaws]
As used in this Bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FALSE ALARM
Any signal or oral communication transmitted to the Police Department requesting or requiring or resulting in a response on the part of the Police Department when, in fact, there has been no unauthorized intrusion, robbery, or burglary, or attempt threat. For the purpose of this definition, activation of alarm systems by acts of God, including, but not limited to, power outages, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and similar weather or atmospheric disturbances, shall not be deemed to be a false alarm.
Every alarm user shall submit to the Police Chief the names and telephone numbers of at least two other persons who are authorized to respond to an emergency signal transmitted by an alarm system and who can open the premises wherein the alarm system is installed.
All alarm systems installed after the effective date of this Bylaw which use an audible horn or bell shall be equipped with a device that will shut off such horn or bell within 10 minutes after activation of the alarm system.
Any alarm system emitting continuous and uninterrupted signal for more than 15 minutes between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. which cannot be shut off or otherwise curtailed due to the absence or unavailability of the alarm user or those persons designated by him or her under § 80-2, and which disturbs the peace, comfort or repose of inhabitants of a community, a neighborhood or a considerable number of inhabitants of the area where the alarm system is located, shall constitute a public nuisance. Upon receiving complaints regarding such a continuous and uninterrupted signal, the Police Chief or his or her designee shall endeavor to contact the alarm user, or members of the alarm user's family, or those persons designated by the alarm user under § 80-2 in an effort to abate the nuisance. The Police Chief or his or her designee shall cause to be recorded the names and addresses of all complaints and time each complaint was made.
Upon receipt of five or more false alarms within a calendar year, the Police Chief shall:
A. 
For each offense, assess the user $25 as a false alarm service fee and for any 10 or more false alarms shall assess the user $50 for each offense. All fees assessed shall be paid to the Town Treasurer for deposit to the general fund; and/or
B. 
Order that further connections to the communications console in the Police Department will be contingent upon the user equipping any alarm system with a device that will shut off any audible horn or bell within 10 minutes after activation of the alarm system.
[4-30-1990; amended 5-1-1990]
This Bylaw does not apply to automobile horns.
[4-30-1990; amended 5-1-1990; 4-28-2014 ATM by Art. 32]
The user shall have the right of appeal to the Board of Selectmen within 10 working days after an order is issued or a fine is assessed under § 80-5.
[5-4-1981; amended ATM 4-26-1994; 4-28-2014 ATM by Art. 32]
Except as herein provided for penalty assessments in § 80-5, whoever violates any Section of this Bylaw shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $300 for each offense, which shall inure to the Town. Such fines shall be recovered by indictment or on complaint before a district court or by noncriminal disposition in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws.
[Adopted as Art. XV of the 1926 Bylaws]
When used in this Bylaw, unless a contrary intention clearly appears, the following words shall have the following meanings:
CENTRAL STATION OPERATING COMPANY
A company equipped to receive a fire alarm signal from each of its customers and which then transmits to the Medfield Fire Department (MFD) the location of any such alarm the central station operating company receives.
A. 
The operation of a faulty smoke or heat detection device.
B. 
Faulty control panel or associated equipment.
C. 
A water pressure surge in automatic sprinkler equipment.
D. 
Accidental operation of an automatic sprinkler system.
E. 
An action by an employee of the owner or occupant of the protected premises or a contractor employed by the owner or the occupant, causing accidental activation of the internal fire alarm system.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
Any heat-activated, smoke-activated, flame-energy-activated or other such automatic device capable of transmitting a fire alarm signal to either a central station operating company or directly to the MFD by way of a master box.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM MALFUNCTION
The transmittal of a fire alarm to a central station operating company or directly to the MFD by way of a master box, which alarm is caused by improper installation of a fire alarm system, a mechanically defective fire alarm system, lack of maintenance or some other reasons that cause a fire alarm to sound even though there is no actual fire or situation that reasonably could evolve into a fire.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM OWNER
An individual or entity who owns the title to and/or has on his or her business or residential premises a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal to a central station operating company or directly to the MFD by way of a master box.
FIRE CHIEF
The Chief of the Medfield Fire Department.
MASTER BOX OWNER
An individual or entity who has on his or her business or residential premises a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal directly to the MFD by way of a master box, which is a municipal fire alarm box.
A. 
Before any fire alarm system is connected to the MFD, the master box owner shall provide the Fire Chief with the following information:
(1) 
The name, address, and home and work telephone numbers of the master box owner;
(2) 
The street address where the master box is located;
(3) 
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the persons or businesses protected by the fire alarm system connected to the master box;
(4) 
The names, addresses and home and work telephone numbers of at least two persons other than the owner who can be contacted 24 hours a day, who are authorized by the master box owner to respond to an alarm signal and who have access to the premises in which the master box is located; and
(5) 
Such other information as the Fire Chief may require.
B. 
If, at the passage of this Bylaw, a fire alarm system has already been connected to the MFD by way of a master box, the master box owner shall comply with the requirements of this Section within 60 days after the MFD has sent him or her notice by first class mail of the requirements of this Section.
C. 
If a master box owner fails to comply with this Section, the Fire Chief may assess a fine of $50 for each day of noncompliance.
A. 
Every central station operating company which has a direct connection on the effective date of this Bylaw to the MFD shall pay the following fees:
(1) 
Annual fee: $200.
B. 
Before any central station operating company is connected with the MFD, it shall provide the Fire Chief with the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone numbers of the central station operating company;
(2) 
The names, addresses, and home and work telephone numbers of at least two persons who can be contacted 24 hours a day, who are authorized by the central station operating company to respond to an alarm signal and who have access to the premises from where the alarm signal is emitting to the central station operating company;
(3) 
The names, address, home and work telephone numbers, and location of the premises of each customer of the central station operating company who has a fire alarm system equipped to send a fire alarm signal to the central station operating company; and
(4) 
Such other information as the Fire Chief may require.
C. 
If, at the passage of this Bylaw, a central station operating company already has a direct connection to the MFD, the central station operating company shall comply with the requirements of this Section within 60 days after the MFD has sent its notice by first class mail of the requirements of this Section.
D. 
If a central station operating company fails to comply with this Section, the Fire Chief may assess a fine of $50 for each day of noncompliance.
A. 
Every master box owner and every central station operating company shall be responsible for updating the information herein required to be provided to the Chief. If the information provided changes, the master box owner and the central station operating company shall provide the Fire Chief with the updated information and shall pay the fee, if any, required by this Bylaw.
B. 
If a master box owner or a central station operating company fails to comply with this Section, the Fire Chief may assess a fine of $50.
A. 
If there is a fire alarm system malfunction, as defined herein, the Fire Chief may assess a fine against a fire alarm system owner for each malfunction per fiscal year according to the following schedule:
(1) 
First through third malfunction: no charge. Upon the recording of the third false alarm by the Medfield Fire Department, the Fire Chief shall notify the owner of the building, in writing and by certified mail, of such fact, and at that time inform the owner of the Medfield Fire Department's policy with regard to charging for false alarms (send copy of the policy at this time).
(2) 
Fourth through sixth malfunction: $100.
(3) 
Seventh through 11th malfunction: $200.
(4) 
Each malfunction after the 11th: $300.
B. 
Private fire alarm systems connected to the Medfield Fire Department by other automatic means or through a central station system shall be subject to the above conditions.
C. 
Any false fire alarm which is the result of the failure of the property owner, occupant or their agents to notify the Medfield Fire Department of repair, maintenance or testing of the internal fire alarm system within the protected premises shall cause a penalty to be assessed in accordance with Subsection A.
D. 
Property owners will be billed once a month for the previous month's malfunction activity. All fines assessed shall be paid to the Town Treasurer for deposit in the general fund.
E. 
If the bill is not paid within 30 days, a second notice will be sent. If the bill is not paid after another 30-day period, a final notice will be sent informing the owner and/or occupant that the master box will be disconnected and the insurance company notified.
No fire alarm system shall be equipped with a tape dialer or similar automatic telephone device which will transmit an alarm message to any telephone lines of the MFD. If, at the passage of this Bylaw, a fire alarm system is equipped with such a tape dialer or similar automatic telephone device, the fire alarm system owner shall have 60 days, following the approval of this Bylaw by the Attorney General, to disconnect such tape dialer or similar automatic telephone device. If a fire alarm system owner fails to comply with this Section, the Fire Chief may assess a fine of $50.
Any fire alarm system owner who is aggrieved by an action taken by the Fire Chief under this Bylaw may, within 10 days of such action, file an appeal, in writing, with the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Medfield (the Board). After notice, the Board shall hold a hearing, after which it shall issue a decision in which it affirms, annuls or modifies the action taken by the Fire Chief, giving its reasons therefor. The Board shall send its decision to the owner by first class mail within 10 days after the hearing. The decision of the Board shall be a final administrative decision.
The Fire Chief may promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to implement this Bylaw. The Fire Chief is authorized to pursue such legal action as may be necessary to enforce this Bylaw.
All fines assessed herein shall be payable to the Town of Medfield for deposit in the general fund.
[Added ATM 5-1991]
The provisions of this Bylaw shall be deemed to be severable, and if any of its provisions shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions.
A. 
Every master box owner whose fire alarm system is directly connected to the Town of Medfield municipal fire alarm system shall be assessed an annual maintenance fee of $180 per master box. This maintenance fee shall be reviewed from time to time and may be adjusted to reflect the cost of maintaining the municipal system. Any change in the maintenance fee will be done with the approval of the Board of Selectmen.
B. 
Municipal buildings will not be assessed a maintenance fee.
C. 
Billing will take place on July 1 of the fiscal year, with payment due in 30 days.
D. 
The fees that are collected for the maintaining of the municipal fire alarm system shall be deposited in a revolving fund for said purpose.
And to further accept the provisions of MGL c. 44, § 53E 1/2, to provide for a Fire Alarm Revolving Fund to be used for fire alarm maintenance, equipment or supplies funds not to exceed $5,000 to come from the Maintenance Fee Account and to authorize the Fire Chief to expend from said funds. The Town Accountant shall provide a quarterly accounting of all transactions that occur within this revolving fund. Said accounting shall be made to the Board of Selectmen and Warrant Committee within 30 days following the close of such calendar quarter in writing.