Township of Upper Providence, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Smoke detectors — See Ch. 1454.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
As used in this chapter:
(a) 
ALARM SUPPLIER — Means the business, by any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity, of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system, or of causing any alarm system to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, required, replaced, moved or installed, in or on any building, structure or facility.
(b) 
ALARM SYSTEM — Means any assembly of equipment, mechanically, electrically or battery operated, arranged to signal the occurrence of a police, fire, hazard or medical emergency requiring urgent attention and to which police or fire units are expected to respond.
(c) 
ANSWERING SERVICE — Means a service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic dialing devices reporting an emergency at a stated location, and whereby such employees have the duty to relay immediately, by live voice, any such emergency messages over a trunk line to the Communications Center of the Police Department or the Volunteer Fire Company.
(d) 
AUDIBLE ALARM — Means any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building, structure or facility, which emits a warning signal audible outside the building, structure or facility and which is designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring the Police Department's or the Volunteer Fire Company's response.
(e) 
AUTOMATIC DIALING SERVICE — Means a device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to transmit a signal, by a voice or coded message, that indicates that an emergency condition exists and that the need for an emergency response is required.
(f) 
CENTRAL STATION — Means a protective system or group of such systems, operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation, which accepts recorded messages from automatic dialing devices at a central station having operators and guards in attendance at all time, who have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages to the Communications Center of the Police Department or the Volunteer Fire Company.
(g) 
CHIEF OF POLICE — Means the administrative head of the Upper Providence Township Police Department.
(h) 
COORDINATOR — Means the Chief of Police, or an individual appointed by, and accountable directly and solely to, the Chief of Police.
(i) 
EMERGENCY — Means a police, fire, hazard or medical emergency.
(j) 
FALSE ALARM — Is defined as follows:
(1) 
An alarm activated in the absence of an emergency, whether willfully or by inadvertence, negligence or unintentional act, including the malfunction of an alarm system, to which the Police Department or Volunteer Fire Company responds. This definition excludes alarms caused by testing or repairing of telephone or electrical lines or equipment outside the premises; acts of God, such as earthquakes, floods, windstorms, thunder or lightning; an attempted illegal entry of which there is visible evidence; a crime in progress; or, in the case of an emergency medical alarm, an actual medical emergency requiring police, fire and/or medical personnel. If doubt exists as to the cause of the fire alarm, the Chief of Police or his or her designee shall make a decision regarding the circumstances of the activation.
(2) 
Multiple alarms received by the Police Department or the Volunteer Fire Company before the system can be deactivated within a reasonable period of time shall be considered a single alarm.
(3) 
The definition of a "false alarm" also includes the intentional activation of a holdup alarm for other than a holdup in progress, the intentional activation of a burglary alarm for other than a burglary, the intentional activation of a medical alarm for other than a medical emergency or the intentional activation of a fire alarm for other than a fire or hazard.
(k) 
FIRE COMPANY — Means the Rose Tree Fire Company, an independent, volunteer fire company providing fire protection in the Township.
(l) 
FIRE EMERGENCY — Means a fire.
(m) 
HAZARD EMERGENCY — Means an explosion, leak of toxic gas, liquid or solid, or a potential explosion or leak.
(n) 
INTERMEDIARY — Means a central station protective system or an answering service, as herein defined. (See Section 1440.13(a).)
(o) 
KEY — Means to use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message, either directly or indirectly, by an automatic dialing service.
(p) 
MEDICAL EMERGENCY — Means an emergency involving the health of a person.
(q) 
PERMIT — Means written permission duly granted to an applicant by the Township upon payment of the required fee.
(r) 
POLICE AND FIRE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER — Means the police and fire communications rooms and other rooms which house communications equipment and the Police Radio Dispatcher.
(s) 
POLICE DEPARTMENT — Means the Police Department of the Township.
(t) 
POLICE EMERGENCY — Means an incident requiring prompt response by the Police Department.
(u) 
TOWNSHIP — Means the Township of Upper Providence, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
(v) 
TOWNSHIP COUNCIL — Means the governing elected body of the Township.
(w) 
TRUNK LINE — Means a telephone line leading into the communications centers of the Police Department and/or the Volunteer Fire Company that is for the purpose of handling calls on a person to person basis and which is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by the telephone company.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
On and after the effective date of this chapter, owners or users of audible alarms must equip such audible alarms with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism shall be unlawful in the Township and must be disconnected by the owner or user within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
On and after the effective date of this chapter, all automatic dialing devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Police Department or the Volunteer Fire Company shall be keyed to the Delaware County Communications Center ("Delcom") in accordance with the requirements of Delcom and the County of Delaware, including the requirements set forth in the County of Delaware's Ordinance No. 82-4, and as said ordinance may be hereafter amended.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
(a) 
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, every alarm supplier who installs an alarm system in the Township shall furnish to the Chief of Police the following information:
(1) 
The name, residence and telephone number of the owner or user;
(2) 
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number at that address;
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of any other person or firm who or which is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed;
(4) 
The name and telephone number of any person, firm or corporation, if any, other than the alarm supplier, who or which is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the system; and
(5) 
The type of system, i.e. holdup, burglary, fire or medical emergency system.
(b) 
Users of alarm system devices whose devices were installed prior to the effective date of this chapter, shall, within 60 days after enactment of this chapter, supply the Chief of Police with the information specified in subsection (a) hereof.
(c) 
All information furnished pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential and shall be for the authorized use of the Police Department only.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
(a) 
On and after the effective date of this chapter, no one, except an alarm supplier holding a valid license from the Township, shall set, install or service any alarm system within the Township.
(b) 
The Coordinator shall issue an alarm supplier's license to an alarm supplier meeting the requirements of this section upon the filing of the required application and payment of a fee of $50, which fee may be hereafter revised by resolution of Township Council. Each license shall bear the signature of the Coordinator and be valid for one calendar year. A copy of the license shall be physically present upon each of the premises using the alarm system and shall be available for inspection solely by the Chief of Police or by the Coordinator. (See Section 1440.13(i)(7).)
(c) 
Each alarm supplier that installs one or more alarm systems in the Township shall make service available, directly or through an agent, on a twenty-four hour per day basis, seven days a week, to repair such devices and to correct malfunctions as they occur. Any person using an alarm system shall make arrangements for service to be available for such device on a twenty-four hour per day basis, seven days a week.
(d) 
No corporation, sole proprietor, partner, joint venturer, trustee, executor, administrator, employee, fiduciary or stockholder with a 5% or greater interest in a corporation, except a corporation whose stock is publicly traded and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or with a State Securities Commission, applying for a license, shall have been convicted of a felony or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony charge or indictment.
(e) 
The applicant shall furnish an insurance certificate annually, confirming that the applicant has in force general liability insurance coverage in an amount of not less than $300,000 for each occurrence. An applicant who self-insures such coverage shall furnish evidence of financial ability.
(f) 
The licensee shall pay an annual license fee of $50, which fee may be hereafter revised by resolution of Township Council.
(g) 
No alarm supplier license shall be required:
(1) 
Where no alarm permit is required; or
(2) 
When the installation of an alarm system shall be made personally by the owner or occupant of the premises.
(h) 
A license may be revoked or renewal denied if:
(1) 
The licensee fails to meet the requirements necessary to obtain a license;
(2) 
The license fee is not paid;
(3) 
The Chief of Police has reason to believe the licensee's installations are unduly the cause of false alarms; or
(4) 
The licensee fails to provide emergency service as required by this chapter.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
(a) 
The user's fee for an alarm system permit shall be $25, which fee may be hereafter revised by resolution of Township Council, and said permit shall be obtained, by or on behalf of the owner of the premises upon which the alarm system is installed, from the Police Department prior to the installation of the alarm system. For alarm systems installed prior to the effective date of this chapter, the permit is required but the fee shall not be applicable.
(b) 
The permit shall bear the signature of the Chief of Police or the Coordinator and be valid for the period that the owner owns the premises upon which the alarm system is installed, or until revoked by the Chief of Police or the Coordinator. The permit shall be physically present upon the premises using the alarm system and shall be available for inspection by the Chief of Police or the Coordinator. Renewal applications by succeeding users or owners shall be made within 60 days of property acquisition, and there shall be no fee for such permit renewal, provided that the renewal application is made within such sixty-day-period.
(c) 
The permit shall contain the address of the property, the name of the business (if applicable), the name of the owner, tenant or agent responsible for the property, the alarm supplier or other entity responsible for maintaining the system (if applicable), the type of alarm (burglary, holdup or medical), how the alarm signal will be received by the communications center (tape, central station, etc.), at least two alternative emergency numbers of persons to be contacted to secure the property and any additional information as may be determined to be necessary. It shall be the owner's responsibility to amend the foregoing information whenever the information changes.
(d) 
An alarm user who is over the age of 65 and who is the primary occupant of a residence may obtain a user's permit from the Township without paying the above stated fee if no business is conducted at such residence.
(e) 
Users who fail to obtain a permit within 60 days after the alarm system is activated or the property is acquired, or within 60 days after the effective date of this chapter, if later, shall be liable to pay a late charge penalty of $20 for each calendar year that the permit is not obtained, which late charge penalty may be hereafter revised by resolution of Township Council. The late charge penalty is applicable to all users who fail to timely obtain a permit, regardless of whether the user's alarm was installed prior to or after the effective date of this chapter.
(f) 
All locations in the Township equipped with alarm systems, except as stated in this chapter, must secure and possess a valid permit for the same.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
(a) 
A battery-powered (nine-volt, eleven and two-tenths volt or similar voltage) audible alarm system or an electrically energized audible system whose sole purpose is to notify the occupants of that location of an emergency situation shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this chapter if all of the following conditions exist:
(1) 
The alarm is not connected to any mechanical or electrical device that automatically notifies a person or agency outside that location that the alarm system is activated.
(2) 
The audible alarm does not sound outside the location (no external speakers).
(3) 
The internal signal emitted by the audible alarm does not exceed 90 decibels.
(4) 
The internal alarm does not cause undue annoyance or alarm to occupants of adjoining premises.
(b) 
Alarm users who are not required to pay a fee or who are exempt from obtaining an alarm user's permit, as provided in subsection (a) hereof, shall, nevertheless, be subject to the penalty provisions prescribed in this chapter.
(c) 
After the effective date of this chapter, no one except an alarm supplier holding a valid license from the Township, shall install any alarm system within the confines of the Township.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
Each alarm supplier who, after the effective date of this chapter, sells or leases in the Township an alarm system, shall furnish the operating instructions and manual to the buyer or lessee.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
(a) 
The public safety requires that the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning automatic dialing devices be kept to a minimum so as to reduce the unnecessary calls to the Police Department or the Volunteer Fire Company and to increase the effectiveness of properly functioning alarm systems. In order to enforce this and to reduce the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning alarm systems, it is necessary that appropriate Township officials and Volunteer Fire Company officials have the right to inspect the installation and operation of any false alarm systems installed in the Township. All such inspections of the installation and operation of alarm systems shall be at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, except in emergency situations. In emergency situations, the appropriate Township and Volunteer Fire Company officials shall have a right to enter upon the premises immediately and in such a manner as the emergency requires.
(b) 
Application for a permit for the installation of an alarm system and subsequent installation of such a system pursuant to a permit issued or the continuance of the use of any alarm system already installed at the effective date of this chapter shall constitute authorization and consent by the owner or lessee thereof for the inspection of any such installation and/or operation by the Chief of Police, the Coordinator or other Township code enforcement or inspection official. The user's failure to permit entry for inspection, as provided herein, shall be cause for revocation of the permit by the Chief of Police.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
Every alarm supplier selling, leasing or furnishing an alarm system to any user, or a user who privately installs an alarm system which is located on premises within the Township, shall be:
(a) 
Permitted to install only equipment that is listed by Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc., as being electrically safe and meeting the Township requirements for the alarm system. Wiring for the alarm system must conform with all applicable Township codes.
(b) 
Required to cause each alarm system installed to be provided with standby battery power, which shall automatically and immediately take over in the event of a power failure;
(c) 
Required to install equipment in such a way as to neutralize electrical surges on the alarm system; and
(d) 
Required to deactivate any alarm system within a reasonable period of time when multiple false alarms are received.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of any alarm system without first notifying the shift supervisor of the Township police or fire radio network, as applicable.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987]
Alarm suppliers and installers shall furnish, at their own expense, at or prior to the time of contracting, a copy of this chapter to owners, lessees or users of the equipment or services to be supplied.
[Ord. No. 167, passed 9-17-1987; Ord. No. 324, passed 6-10-1999]
(a) 
For purposes of defraying the costs to the Township Police and/or Fire Departments of responding to false alarms, the owner, lessee or user of any alarm system, persons using the services of an intermediary, users of audible alarms and users of any other kind of alarm system or any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the police or fire communications center, except persons using two-way, live-voice communication by telephone, shall, as a condition of installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, execute a consent, in such form as may be prescribed by the Township, that such owner, lessee or user shall pay as a service charge to the Township the cost of all false alarms originating from the owner's, lessee's or user's premises, according to the following schedule:
(1) 
Burglary alarms.
A. 
For the first and second false alarms per calendar year, a warning.
B. 
For the third, fourth and fifth false alarms per calendar year, $25 for each false alarm.
C. 
For the sixth and subsequent false alarms per calendar year, $100 for each false alarm.
(2) 
Fire alarms.
A. 
New fire alarm systems in the first year of service:
1. 
For the first and second false alarms, a warning.
2. 
For the third false alarm in the first year of service, the cost incurred by the Township for investigation by the Township Fire Marshal plus $50.
3. 
For the fourth false alarm in the first year of service, the cost incurred by the Township for investigation by the Township Fire Marshal plus $100.
4. 
For the fifth false alarm and each subsequent false alarm in the first year of service, the cost incurred by the Township for investigation by the Township Fire Marshal plus $300.
B. 
Fire alarm systems in service longer than one year:
1. 
For the first false alarm per year, the cost incurred by the Township for investigation by the Township Fire Marshal plus $50.
2. 
For the second false alarm per year, the cost incurred by the Township for the investigation by the Township Fire Marshal plus $100.
3. 
For the third false alarm per year, the cost incurred by the Township for the investigation by the Township Fire Marshal plus $300.
(b) 
The schedule of costs may be hereafter revised by resolution of Township Council.
(c) 
For purposes of calculating the above, any false alarms occurring in a succeeding calendar year shall be deemed to have occurred in the prior calendar year if there is no sixty-day period which is false alarm free and which precedes such false alarm.
(d) 
Any owner, lessee or user who fails to execute the consent described in subsection (a) hereof within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter shall, within 90 days, disconnect the alarm system.
(e) 
Any owner, lessee or user of an alarm system may revoke or refuse to consent, as set forth in subsection (a) hereof, only by disconnecting the alarm system. With respect to such systems installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user can refuse or revoke the aforesaid consent by disconnecting such alarm system within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter.
(f) 
Penalties provided for false alarms that are relayed or transmitted by an intermediary shall be the responsibility of the owner or user of the alarm system.
(g) 
Any police officer or fireman responding to an alarm which is determined to be false shall promptly notify the Chief of Police of such alarm in writing, and he or she shall, within five days, have notification of such false alarm sent via United States mail to the person in whose name the alarm is registered.
(h) 
By submitting an application for a permit for the installation of an emergency medical alarm system and the subsequent installation of such, or by the continuation of the use of an alarm system already installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user thereof shall agree that such permit application constitutes a waiver by such person of the right to bring or file any action, claim or complaint whatsoever against any police officer or fireman who makes an emergency forced entry, in response to such an alarm, into the premises on which such alarm is installed, as a result of entry into the subject premises. In the event the owner of such premises is a person other than the permit applicant, as in the instance of a lessee or other user who is not the owner of the premises on which the alarm is installed, such permit application shall constitute an indemnification agreement by the applicant to hold harmless any such police officer or fireman, the Township, the Police Department and the Volunteer Fire Company, as appropriate, from any and all damages whatsoever claimed by the lessor or owner of the premises on which the alarm is installed.
(i) 
Any alarm system which has four or more false alarms within a calendar year shall be subject to permit revocation.
(1) 
The Chief of Police shall notify the alarm user and the alarm business providing the service or inspection to the user, by first class, postage prepaid, certified mail, of such fact, and direct that the user submit a report to the Chief of Police within 15 days of receipt of the notice, describing actions taken or to be taken to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarms.
(2) 
If the alarm user submits a report as directed, the Chief of Police shall determine if the action taken or to be taken will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms. If he or she determines that the action will substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms, he or she shall notify the alarm user in writing that his or her permit will not be revoked at this time, and that if one more false alarm occurs within the permit year, the user's permit may be revoked.
(3) 
If no report is submitted, or if the Chief of Police determines that the action taken or to be taken will not substantially reduce the likelihood of false alarms, the Chief of Police shall give notice, by first class, postage prepaid, certified mail, to the user that the permit will be revoked without further notice if the user does not file, within 10 days, a written request for a hearing.
(4) 
If a hearing is requested, written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served on the user by the Chief of Police, by first class, postage prepaid, certified mail, at least 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing, which date shall not be more than 21 nor less than 10 days after the filing of the request for the hearing.
(5) 
The hearing shall be before a hearing officer designated by the Chief of Police, and the alarm user shall have the right to counsel and to present written or oral evidence, subject to the right of cross-examination. If the hearing officer determines that four or more false alarms have occurred and that the user has not taken action which substantially reduces the likelihood of false alarms, he or she shall issue written findings to that effect and an order revoking the user's permit.
(6) 
An alarm user shall immediately discontinue use of his or her alarm system upon being notified, by first class, postage prepaid, certified mail, of the revocation of his or her permit.
(7) 
An alarm user whose permit has been revoked may apply for a probationary user's permit. The Chief of Police shall not be required to issue a probationary user's permit unless he or she is satisfied that the user's system has been properly serviced and its deficiencies corrected. The Chief of Police may impose reasonable restrictions and conditions upon the user before issuing a probationary user's permit, which restrictions and conditions shall be written on the permit. A probationary user's permit shall be issued for a one-year period. If the alarm user does not have four or more false alarms during that period, he or she may apply for a permanent permit under the provisions of Section 1440.06.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Section 202.99(b), (c) and (d) for general Code penalty.