Town of Putnam, CT
Windham County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 12-13-2010]
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "False Fire/Nuisance Alarm Regulation."
A. 
The purpose of this article is to encourage owners and fire alarm businesses, as hereinafter defined, to properly use and maintain the operational effectiveness of fire alarm systems in order to improve the reliability of fire alarm systems and reduce or eliminate false fire alarms and nuisance fire alarms.
B. 
This article governs fire alarm systems intended to summon Fire Department personnel and requires registration, requires assessment of fees for excessive false fire alarms and nuisance fire alarms, provides procedures for repeat offenders, provides for the severability of the parts hereof if declared invalid, and provides an effective date.
C. 
Authority. This article is adopted pursuant to the provisions of § 29-292, Connecticut General Statutes, and the code adopted therewith, together with the provisions of §§ 7-148 and 7-282b of the Connecticut General Statutes.
As used in this article, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:
ADOPTED CODE
A code adopted by the Connecticut General Statute § 29-292.
ALARM-INITIATING DEVICE
A device that is designed to respond either manually or automatically to smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, or activation of a fire-suppression system.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
The Putnam Fire Chief, the Fire Chief's designee, or, in the absence of both the Putnam Fire Chief and the Fire Chief's designee, the Fire Officer in charge of the Department at the time of the incident.
FALSE FIRE ALARM
The activation of any fire alarm system which results in a response by the Fire Department and which is caused by the negligence or intentional misuse of the fire alarm system by the owner, its employees, or agents or any other activation of a fire alarm system not caused by heat, smoke or fire, exclusive of a nuisance fire alarm.
FEE or PENALTY
The assessment of a monetary charge payable to the Town of Putnam Special Service District, authorized pursuant to this article, to defray the expenses of responding to a false fire alarm or nuisance fire alarm.
FIRE ALARM ACTIVATION REPORT
A document issued by the Fire Chief indicating that the activation was deemed to be the result of a fire alarm activation due to fire, false fire alarm or nuisance fire alarm.
FIRE ALARM BUSINESS/COMPANY
Any individuals, partnership, corporation or other entity that is appropriately licensed in the State of Connecticut and installs, causes to be installed, permits to be installed, alters, maintains, repairs, replaces or services any fire alarm system.
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
A system or portion of a combination system, consisting of components and circuits arranged to monitor and/or exterior-annunciate the status of a fire alarm or supervisory signal-initiating device and to initiate the appropriate response to those signals.
FIRE CHIEF
The Putnam Fire Chief, the Fire Chief's designee, or, in the absence of both the Putnam Fire Chief and the Fire Chief's designee, the Fire Officer in charge of the Department at the time of the incident.
FIRE WATCH
A Fire Chief-approved person or persons assigned to the premises for the purpose of protecting the occupants from fire or similar emergencies. A fire watch may involve at least some special action beyond normal staffing, such as assigning an additional security guard(s) to walk the premises, who has been specially trained in fire prevention and in use of fire extinguishers, in notifying the Fire Department, in sounding the fire alarm system located on the premises, and in understanding the particular firesafety situations.
MONITORED SYSTEM
The process by which a fire alarm business receives signals from a fire alarm system and notifies the Fire Department.
NFIR
National Fire Incident Report.
NUISANCE FIRE ALARM
The activation of any fire alarm system, which results in a response by the Fire Department, caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, lack of proper maintenance, mischievous activities or any other response for which the Fire Department personnel are unable to determine the apparent cause of the alarm activation, exclusive of a false fire alarm.
OWNER
Any person who owns the premises in which the fire alarm system is installed or the person or persons who lease, operate, occupy (occupant) or manage the premises.
PREMISES
Any building, structure or combination of buildings and structures which serves as dwelling units, such as single-family or multifamily, or any other area within a building, structure or combination thereof which is used for any purpose, wherein a fire alarm system is installed.
QUALIFIED FIRE ALARM TECHNICIAN
Any person who inspects, installs, repairs or performs maintenance on the fire alarm system. This person shall be licensed or certified by the State of Connecticut.
RECORD OF COMPLETION
The completion of a form equivalent to the record of completion form included in the National Fire Protection Association's Fire Alarm Code (NFPA 72).
REGISTRATION
The notification (new facility systems shall give a ten-day notice) by an owner/occupant to the Fire Chief that a fire alarm system has been installed and is in use.
REPORT OF SERVICE/REPAIR
Appropriate documentation in a format acceptable to the Fire Chief that verifies proper repairs or maintenance have been performed by both the fire alarm business and the owner.
SERVE
Hand-delivered written notification by a representative of the Town of Putnam Special Service District to the owner or authorized representative who had responded to the premises. "Serve" shall also mean placing the form or other matter in the United States mail (by certified mail) postage prepaid, addressed to the owner or authorized representative.
A. 
A one-time registration shall be required for fire alarm systems and whenever a record of completion is prepared in accordance with adopted codes. (New facility systems shall give a ten-day notice.)
B. 
The owner/occupant shall be required to reregister whenever there is a change in the fire alarm business responsible for maintaining, servicing, and/or monitoring the fire alarm system.
C. 
Registration shall not be transferable from one premises to another or from one owner to another.
D. 
Every fire alarm business shall notify the Fire Chief of the existence of a fire alarm system prior to the fire alarm system being put into operation. It shall be the responsibility of the installing fire alarm business to provide the owner with notice of the existence of this regulation, a registration form and a copy of the fire alarm system operation instructions in accordance with adopted codes, and the manufacturer's instructions.
E. 
The registration form shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name(s), the address of the premises, the mailing address (if different from the address of the premises), and the business and home telephone number of the owner, lessee, operator, manager, or person in possession of the premises wherein the fire alarm system is installed.
(2) 
The name, address and telephone number of a minimum of two persons who can be notified by the Fire Department in the event of the activation of the fire alarm system, who shall be capable of responding to the premises within one hour, and who are authorized to enter the premises to ascertain the status thereof and thereby secure the home, business or facility.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of the fire alarm business which has been contracted for any reason.
(4) 
Any other documentation that is required by adopted codes.
F. 
When any of the information required in Subsection E(1), (2) or (3) has changed, it shall be reported to the Fire Chief by the owner within 15 days of the owner becoming aware of such change.
G. 
The owner/occupant shall complete and deliver the fire alarm system registration in the required format to the Fire Chief before the fire alarm system is activated or placed into service. (New facility systems shall give a ten-day notice.) The fire alarm business, when authorized by the owner/occupant, may assist the owner/occupant in accomplishing this submission of the fire alarm registration to the Fire Chief.
All newly installed or recertified commercial fire alarm systems shall be approved by the Town of Putnam Fire Marshal. The certification shall indicate that the fire alarm system is in compliance with adopted codes. The certification shall be signed by a qualified fire alarm technician.
A. 
The owner shall ensure that all fire alarm systems are inspected and tested in accordance with adopted codes.
B. 
The owner shall ensure that all fire alarm systems are periodically maintained per manufacturer's specifications and adopted codes.
C. 
Inspection and testing. All systems shall meet the requirements of Subsections A and B, minimum annual inspections and testing, unless applicable codes and standards require a more-frequent inspection maintenance and certification. The owner/occupant shall maintain a record of the inspection system maintenance, which shall be available to the Fire Marshal and Fire Chief.
A. 
The owner shall be responsible for the activation of a fire alarm system.
B. 
A response to the activation of a fire alarm system shall result when a PFD officer, Incident Commander or member of the Fire Department is dispatched to the premises where the fire alarm system has been activated.
(1) 
At the time of the response, the Fire Department shall notify any person identified in the registration required pursuant to § A350-30 (Subsection A through C) of the activation of the fire alarm system and shall require such person to respond to the premises.
(2) 
In the event the fire alarm system is a monitored system, it is the responsibility of the business/company monitoring the fire alarm system to notify the person identified in the registration at the request of the Fire Department.
(3) 
The business/company shall be responsible to notify the Putnam Fire Department Emergency Dispatch immediately upon receiving a fire alarm notification.
C. 
The Fire Chief or officer of the Fire Department who responded to said premises shall serve the owner or authorized representative with a fire alarm activation report (National Incident Report System — NFIR).
In the event that the activation of a fire alarm system is deemed by the Fire Chief to be a nuisance fire alarm, the owner shall be served with a fire alarm activation report by the Fire Chief of the Fire Department, indicating that the activation was deemed to be the result of a nuisance fire alarm.
A. 
This shall require the owner to return a completed report of service/repair within 15 days of receipt of the fire alarm report to verify, to the reasonable satisfaction of the Fire Chief that:
(1) 
The fire alarm system has actually been examined by a qualified fire alarm technician.
(2) 
A reasonable attempt has been made to identify and correct any defect of design, installation or operation of the fire alarm system which was identified as the cause of the nuisance fire alarm.
B. 
Failure to return a report of service/repair within a fifteen-day period, which is reasonably satisfactory to the Fire Chief, shall result in assessment against the owner of a fee for the nuisance fire alarm. (See Appendix A, Service Fees.)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any newly installed fire alarm system for a period of 45 days from the date of installation but shall apply from and after the expiration of the initial forty-five-day period following installation.
B. 
Should any fee assessed pursuant to this article remain unpaid in excess of 90 days from the date the fee is billed, a late fee in the amount as set forth in Appendix A, Service Fees, shall be assessed (monthly) and shall be payable by the owner of the premises in addition to the original fee.
C. 
False alarms.
(1) 
No fee shall be assessed for the first three false fire alarms at the same premises responded to by the Fire Department during each calendar year. Thereafter, the owner shall pay the following fees for false fire alarms responded to by the Fire Department at the same premises during each calendar year, except when the fire alarm business is responsible for the false fire alarms.
(2) 
The fire alarm business shall be assessed a fee as set forth in Appendix A, Service Fees, if the Fire Chief determines that a false fire alarm was caused by an on-site employee or representative of the fire alarm business. In that event, no false fire alarm shall be counted against the owner.
(3) 
False fire alarms activated by any components connected to the fire alarm system shall be included in computing the total number of false fire alarms for the purpose of this subsection.
(4) 
The activation of a fire alarm system will not be considered a false fire alarm if the alarm is activated due to malicious causes beyond the control of the owner.
(5) 
The following fees shall be assessed for false fire alarms:
Number of False Fire Alarms
Service Fee Per False Fire Alarm
1st to 3rd
$0
4th
$100
5th
$150
6th and each additional
$250
D. 
Nuisance fire alarms.
(1) 
The following fees shall be assessed when a report of service/repair has been returned to the Fire Chief but nuisance fire alarms continue:
Number of Nuisance Fire Alarms
Service Fee Per Nuisance Fire Alarm
1st to 3rd
$0
4th
$100
5th
$150
6th and each additional
$250
(2) 
In the event the premises is equipped with a fire alarm system with over 100 alarm-initiating devices, the Fire Chief may waive one nuisance fire alarm per calendar year.
A. 
The Fire Chief has the authority to order a fire watch, due to repetitive false fire alarms and/or nuisance fire alarms, until corrective action is taken or if there is a determination that the safety of the occupants is at risk.
(1) 
Failure to meet all requirements or pay the fees provided for in this article within 15 days after the notice is received by the owner.
(2) 
Failure of the owner to provide a written report of service/repair required by this article.
(3) 
A fourth false fire alarm or nuisance fire alarm at a premises for which a fee is charged pursuant to this article as a result of the failure of the owner to take corrective action to eliminate the cause of the nuisance fire alarm or false fire alarm.
(4) 
The failure of a person notified pursuant to §§ A350-33B(1) and (2) of this article to appear within one hour after being notified to respond, if such failure to timely respond occurs four or more times within a calendar year.
B. 
The written notice to disconnect or deactivate (by letter) shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner and shall specify the date by which the owner shall be required to disconnect or deactivate the fire alarm system. This date shall be at least 15 days after the notice has been received by the owner. The owner may appeal the order of the Fire Chief pursuant to § A350-37.
C. 
Each building or facility affected because the signal from the fire alarm system has been disconnected or deactivated shall be required to establish a fire watch until the fire alarm system has been returned to service. Duties of the fire watch may include notifying the Fire Department and building occupants of an emergency and preventing a fire from occurring.
D. 
The owner/occupant is responsible for paying all cost associated with establishing a fire watch.
E. 
The Fire Chief, Fire Department officers or Incident Commander shall have the authority to direct the owner of the premises to have corrective action taken and thereafter reset the fire alarm system.
F. 
Anyone convicted of falsifying reports as required under this article is subject to a maximum penalty as established by state or local law.
A. 
An owner/occupant or fire alarm business may appeal the assessment of fees to the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board. The filing of an appeal with the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board stays the assessment of the fee until the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board make a final decision. The owner/occupant or fire alarm business shall file a written appeal to the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board by setting forth the reasons for the appeal within 15 days after the notice is received.
B. 
An owner/occupant to whom a notice to disconnect or deactivate a fire alarm system was mailed, pursuant to § A350-36 (Subsections C and D), shall be entitled to appeal the order to the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board. An appeal shall be in writing, stating the reasons why the order to disconnect or deactivate should be withdrawn. The appeal shall be made within 15 days after notice to disconnect or deactivate is received by the owner/occupant. The Fire Chief, Fire Officer, or his representative and the PFD Executive Board shall review the facts and circumstances and shall determine whether the owner/occupant has shown good cause why the order should be withdrawn. If the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board affirm the order to disconnect or deactivate a fire alarm system, the owner/occupant shall have 15 days after the written decision is received by the owner to comply with the order. The appeal of an order to disconnect or deactivate shall suspend the effective date of the order until the appeal has been acted upon by the Fire Chief and the PFD Executive Board.
A. 
A fire alarm system may be reactivated upon findings by the Fire Chief that the owner of the premises has taken corrective action to remedy the cause of the false fire alarms or nuisance fire alarms at the premises.
B. 
In making a request for such reactivation, the owner shall have the burden of showing what corrective action has been taken.
C. 
The Fire Chief shall have the right to inspect the fire alarm system and test the system prior to approving the new order to reconnect or reactivate the fire alarm system.
D. 
A reconnection fee (see Appendix A, Service Fees)[1] shall be assessed to the owner before any reconnection of a fire alarm system may be made.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included as an attachment to this chapter.
E. 
The Fire Chief shall not approve a new order to reconnect or reactivate if the owner has failed to pay any fees pursuant to this article.
Any information supplied to the Fire Chief and the Fire Department is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
Registration of a fire alarm system is not intended to, nor will it, create a contract, duty or obligation, either expressed or implied, for response. Any and all liability and consequential damage resulting from the failure to respond to a notification is hereby disclaimed, and governmental immunity as provided by law is retained. When registering a fire alarm system, the owner acknowledges that Fire Department response may be based on factors such as: availability of Fire Department units, priority of emergency calls, weather conditions, traffic conditions, emergency conditions, and staffing levels. The Town of Putnam Special Service District, it's officers, employees, and agents, shall not assume any duty or responsibility for the installation, maintenance, operation, repair or effectiveness of any privately owned fire alarm system, those duties or responsibilities being solely those of the owner of the premises.
The provisions of this article are severable. If a court determines a word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, section, subsection, or other provision invalid or that the application of any part of the provision to any person or circumstance is invalid, the remaining provision and the application of those provisions to other persons or circumstances are not affected by that decision.