[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Beverly as Art. XXIII of the Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 159.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings described to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- An assembly of equipment and devices or a single device such as a solid-state unit which plugs directly into a one-hundred-ten volt, sixty-cycle arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which police or fire persons are expected to respond. The City municipal fire alarm system is specifically excluded from the provisions of this chapter (A.C. line).
- ALARM USER or USER
- Any person on whose premises an alarm system is maintained within the City, except for alarm systems on motor vehicles or proprietary systems. Excluded from this definition and from the coverage of this chapter are central station personnel and persons who use alarm systems to alert or signal persons within the premises in which the alarm system is located of an attempted unauthorized intrusion or holdup attempt. If such a system, however, employs an audible signal emitting sounds or a flashing light or beacon designed to signal persons outside the premises, such system shall be within the definition of "alarm system," as that term is used in this section, and shall be subject to this chapter.
- AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
- An alarm system which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, a prerecorded voice message or coded signal indicating the existence of the emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which remote alarm and supervisory signaling devices are connected where operators supervise circuits or where guards are maintained continuously to investigate signals.
- COMMUNICATIONS CONSOLE
- The instrumentation on an alarm console at the receiving terminal of a signal line which, through both visual and audible signals, indicates activation of an alarm system at a particular location, or which indicates line trouble.
- DIRECT CONNECT
- An alarm system which has the capability of transmitting system signals to and receiving them at the Police Department communication center and Fire Department communication center.
- A. The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, or negligence of the user of an alarm system or of his employees or agents.
- B. Any signal or oral communication transmitted to the Police or Fire Department requesting, or requiring, or resulting in a response on the part of the Police or Fire Department when in fact there has been no unauthorized intrusion or attempted unauthorized intrusion into a premises and no attempted robbery or burglary or fire at a premises.
- C. Excluded from this definition are activations of alarm systems caused by power outages, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and similar conditions.
- FIRE CHIEF
- The Chief of the Fire Department of the City or his designated representative.
- To connect an alarm system to a voice-grade telephone line, either directly or through a mechanical device that utilizes a standard telephone, for the purpose of using the telephone line to transmit an emergency message upon the activation of the alarm system.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Chief of Police of the City or his designated representative.
- POLICE or POLICE DEPARTMENT; FIRE or FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The City Police Department or City Fire Department or any authorized agent thereof.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Anything which annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of any considerable number of persons or of any community or neighborhood.
[Amended 6-20-1994 by Ord. No. 35]
The following acts and omissions shall constitute violations of this chapter punishable by fines of up to $50:
Failure to obey an order of the Police Chief or Fire Chief to discontinue use of an alarm system, after exhaustion of the right of appeal.
Failure to disconnect an automatic dialing device from any telephone numbers at the Police Department or Fire Department within six months after the effective date of the ordinance from which this chapter was derived.
Interconnection of an automatic dialing device to any telephone numbers at the Police Department or Fire Department after the effective date of the ordinance from which this chapter was derived.
Failure to pay two or more consecutive fines assessed under this chapter within 60 days from the date of the assessment.
Separate offenses. Each day during which the aforesaid violations continue shall constitute a separate offense.
The Police Chief or Fire Chief may promulgate such rules as may be necessary for the implementation of this chapter in their respective departments.
Interconnection specifications. Automatic dialing devices may be interconnected only to telex phone numbers at the Police Department or Fire Department specifically designated to receive such calls by the Police or Fire Department.
Any person using an automatic dialing device may have the device interconnected to a telephone line transmitting directly to:
Connection to communications console; existing systems. Alarm systems may be connected to the communications console in the Police Department. The existing alarm company is to remain until terminated by the Chief of Police.
Bids. In accordance with the normal bidding practices in effect in the City, the City Council shall have the authority to request bids from alarm companies in order to furnish, at no cost to the City, a communications console and the necessary telephone lines which are compatible to the receipt of alarm signals from alarm systems whose lines are connected to the Police Department. Each of the bids shall set forth the annual fee each alarm user will be required to pay the alarm company for services rendered with respect to the communications console. Such services shall be set forth in the form of a written contract between the alarm company and each alarm user. The provisions of this Subsection B relate solely to the aforementioned communications console, connections to the console by alarm users, and fees and charges related to the installation and maintenance of the console. Any alarm user may contract with any alarm company of his choice for the sale, installation, maintenance, and for servicing of the alarm system to be installed on his premises.
Responsibilities of alarm user or alarm business contracting for servicing alarm system. The alarm user, or the alarm business contracting for servicing the alarm user's alarm system, shall be responsible for obtaining the leased telephone line between the alarm user's premises and the alarm receiving equipment at the Police Department and for furnishing the appropriate interface equipment, if required, in order to provide an input signal which is compatible with the receiving equipment used to operate the communications console.
Submission of names of persons authorized to respond to alarm. Every alarm user shall submit to the Police Chief or Fire Chief the names and telephone numbers of at least two other persons who can be reached at any time, day or night, and 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.
Test device. All alarm systems directly connected to the Police Department may be equipped with a test device which will give a ten-second delay or longer prior to alarm system activation in order to warn the alarm user of an open alarm circuit.
Automatic shut-off devices. All alarm systems installed after July 1, 1981, which use an audible horn or bell or siren-sounding alarm shall be equipped with a device that will shut off such audible sound within 20 minutes or less after activation of the alarm system.
Continuous signals constitute a nuisance. Any alarm system emitting a continuous and uninterrupted signal for more than 30 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 under Subsection A of this section and which disturbs the peace, comfort, or repose 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 shall endeavor to contact the alarm user, or those persons designated by the alarm user under Subsection A of this section in an effort to abate the nuisance. The Police Chief shall cause to be recorded the names and addresses of all complainants and the time each complaint was made.
In the event that the Police Chief is unable to contact the alarm user or those persons designated by the alarm user under Subsection A of this section, or if the aforesaid persons cannot or will not curtail the audible signal emitted by the alarm system, and if the Police Chief is otherwise unable to abate the nuisance, he may direct a police officer or a firefighter or a qualified alarm technician to enter upon the property outside the home or building in which the alarm system is located and take any reasonable action necessary to abate the nuisance. If the entry upon property outside the home or building in which the alarm system is located is made in accordance with this section, the person so entering upon such property shall:
After an entry upon property has been made in accordance with this section, the Police Chief shall have the property secured, if necessary. The reasonable costs and expenses of abating a nuisance in accordance with this chapter may be assessed to the alarm user, such assessment not to exceed $50.
No alarm system designed to transmit emergency messages directly to the Police or Fire Department shall be worked on, tested or demonstrated without obtaining permission from the Police Chief or Fire Chief. Permission is not required to test or demonstrate alarm devices not transmitting emergency messages directly to the Police Department or Fire Department. An unauthorized test constitutes a false alarm.
Actions of Police or Fire Chief generally. When emergency messages are received by the Police or Fire Department that evidence false alarms, the Police Chief or Fire Chief shall take action as may be appropriate under Subsections B, C, D and E of this section and, when so required by the terms of such subsections, order that use of an alarm system be discontinued.
Report. After the Police or Fire Department has recorded three separate false alarms within the calendar year from an alarm system, the Police Chief or Fire Chief shall notify the alarm user, in writing, in person or by mail, of such fact and require the alarm user to submit, within 15 days after receipt of such notice, a report describing efforts to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarms. If the user, on the basis of absence from the City, or on any other reasonable basis, requests an extension of time for filing the report, the Police Chief or Fire Chief may extend the fifteen-day period for a reasonable time. If the user fails to submit such a report within the times specified, the Police Chief or Fire Chief shall order that use of the alarm system be discontinued. Any such discontinuances shall be effectuated within 15 days from the date of receipt of the Police Chief's or Fire Chief's order.
Discontinuance of system for unsatisfactory report. In the event that the Police Chief or Fire Chief determines that a report submitted in accordance with Subsection B of this section is unsatisfactory, or that the alarm user has failed to show by the report that he has taken or will take reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce false alarms, then the Police Chief or Fire Chief shall order that use of the alarm system be discontinued. Any such discontinuance shall be effectuated within 15 days from the date of the Police Chief's or Fire Chief's order.
Discontinuance of system for certain number of false alarms within a year. If the Police or Fire Department records five false alarms within the calendar year from an alarm system, the Police Chief or Fire Chief may order that the user of the alarm system discontinue use of the alarm system for the calendar year, but for not less than six months from the date the alarm system was disconnected. In the event that the Police Department or Fire Department records eight false alarms within the calendar year from an alarm system, the Police Chief or Fire Chief shall order that the user of the alarm system discontinue use of the alarm system for the calendar year, but for not less than six months from the date the alarm was disconnected.
Fines. Any user of an alarm system which transmits false alarms shall be assessed a fine of $25 for each false alarm in excess of three occurring within the calendar year. All fines assessed, however, shall be paid to the City Treasurer-Collector for deposit in the general fund. Upon failure of the user of an alarm system to pay two consecutive fines assessed hereunder within 30 days of assessment, the Police Chief or Fire Chief shall order that the user discontinue use of the alarm system. Any such discontinuance shall be effectuated within 15 days from the date of receipt of the Police Chief's or Fire Chief's order.