Township of East Fallowfield, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 3-101 Short Title.

[Ord. 2010-06, 12/21/2010, § 1]
This Part shall be known as the "East Fallowfield Township Automatic Protection Device Ordinance."

§ 3-102 Definitions.

[Ord. 2010-06, 12/21/2010, § 1]
The following definitions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this Part:
ANSWERING SERVICE
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, where such employees have the duty to relay immediately by live voice any such emergency message over a trunk line to the communications center of the police or fire department.
AUDIBLE ALARM
Any device, bell, horn or siren, which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring police or firemen to respond.
AUTOMATIC DIALING DEVICE
A device which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to transmit a signal by a prerecorded voice alarm or message that indicates that an emergency condition exists and the need for an emergency response is required.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
An electrically or battery operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits any form of alarm or signal including, but not limited to, a prerecorded voice alarm from the premises to the police department or fire department radio network, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of intrusion or fire.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE SUPPLIER
The business by an individual, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, monitoring, installing any alarm system or causing any alarm system to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved, installed or monitored in or on any building, structure or other facility.
CCDES
The Chester County Department of Emergency Services.
CENTRAL STATION
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 times who have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages to the communication center of the police or fire department.
CHIEF
The administrative head of the East Fallowfield Township Police Department or the administrative head of the fire department, as appropriate.
COORDINATOR
An individual/designee named by and accountable directly and solely to the Chief of Police.
(1) 
Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given to the police or fire department to which the police department or the fire department responds, which is not the result of a burglary, fire, robbery, medical, weather related, power outage or similar emergency.
(2) 
Multiple alarms received by the police department 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(s) 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 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.
FALSE ALARM FEE
A fee for service in a monetary amount necessary to compensate the Township for the actual personnel and administrative costs, on average, incurred by the Township in responding to false alarms, set by resolution of the Township Board of Supervisors from time to time.
FIRE DEPARTMENT
Any fire department, ambulance or rescue unit providing services within East Fallowfield Township.
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or answering service as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone or recording equipment to transmit a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic protection device.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of East Fallowfield, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the communications centers of the police and fire departments 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.
VERIFIED/VERIFIED RESPONSE
An attempt by a central station, or its representative, to contact the alarm site and/or alarm user by telephone and/or other electronic means, whether or not actual contact with a person is made, to determine whether an alarm signal is as a result of an actual emergency before requesting law enforcement or emergency personnel dispatch, in an attempt to avoid an unnecessary alarm dispatch request. For the purpose of this Part, telephone or electronic verification shall require, at a minimum, that a second telephone call or electronic contact be made to a different number if the first attempt fails to reach an alarm user who can properly identify himself and verify whether an alarm signal is a valid emergency alarm prior to notification of an alarm to CCDES.

§ 3-103 Audible Alarm Restrictions.

[Ord. 2010-06, 12/21/2010, § 1]
1. 
Owners or lessees of audible alarm protection devices may not key such alarms to the East Fallowfield Police Radio Network, CCDES, or to the Pennsylvania State Police Radio Network.
2. 
Audible alarms on location and not keyed to CCDES may be installed by Township residents and businesses so long as they are registered and comply with regulations.
3. 
Audible alarm protection devices on location must be equipped with a timing device which will disconnect the alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such a device shall be unlawful in the Township and must be disconnected by the owner or user within 60 days from the effective date of this Part.
4. 
On and after the effective date of this Part, all automatic dialing devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the police department or fire department shall be keyed to the CCDES radio, only with the prior approval of CCDES.

§ 3-104 Testing.

[Ord. 2010-06, 12/21/2010, § 1]
No person shall conduct any tests or demonstration of any automatic protection device without first notifying the East Fallowfield Township Police Department and the CCDES.

§ 3-105 False Alarms; Responsibility for Costs.

[Ord. 2010-06, 12/21/2010, § 1]
1. 
For the purposes of fully compensating the Township for the cost of responding to false alarms, the owner, lessee or user of any alarm system, persons using the service of an intermediary, users of audible alarms, and users of any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the CCDES shall, as a condition to installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, pay the Township a false alarm fee for each false alarm. The Chief of Police shall determine whether an alarm is a false alarm and invoice the property owner, lessee or user for the false alarm fee. The false alarm fee shall be payable within 30 days of the date of the invoice.
2. 
False alarm fees provided for false alarms that are relayed or transmitted by an intermediary shall be the responsibility of such owner, lessee or user of the alarm system.
3. 
Any police officer responding to an alarm which is determined to be false shall promptly notify the Chief of Police or his designee of such alarm in writing, and shall (if practical) leave notification of such false alarm at the scene of the alarm.
4. 
Any property which has four or more false alarms within a calendar year, other than a holdup, panic or duress alarm, shall be subject to verified response.
A. 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall notify the alarm user, property owner and the alarm supplier providing the service to the user/property by first-class, postage prepaid, certified mail, that the property has been placed on verified response.
B. 
An alarm user and/or property owner shall immediately implement verified response for the alarm system and property upon being notified of the verified response order as set forth in Subsection 4A above. If the alarm user and/or property owner do not comply immediately with the verified response order, the property shall be disconnected from the system by the user and/or owner. If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished promptly, the Township may take any steps necessary to disconnect the defective automatic protection device.
C. 
A property that has been placed on verified response may make written application to the Chief of Police to remove the property from verified response anytime 60 days after being placed on verified response. The application shall include a fee in an amount as determined by the Board of Supervisors by resolution from time to time. The application shall include a certification from a licensed alarm supplier describing the reason for the malfunction causing false alarms, that the defect in the alarm system has been repaired and that the alarm system is free of defects which will cause false alarms. If the Chief of Police is satisfied with the representations in the certification, he may remove the alarm system and property from verified response for a six-month probationary period. If no false alarms occur within the probationary period, the alarm system and property shall be removed from verified response. If a false alarm occurs within the probationary period, the property shall be placed on permanent verified response.
D. 
If no application as set forth in Subsection 4C above is submitted, or 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 alarm system and property shall be placed on permanent verified response.
5. 
Appeals to have a false alarm activation removed from an alarm user's record may be made to the Chief of Police or his designee. The appeal must be submitted in writing substantiating the cause of the false alarm and what has been done to prevent future false alarms. The Chief of Police, or his designee, at his discretion, may remove false alarm activation from an alarm user's record if it is believed that this course of action is justifiable.

§ 3-106 Violations and Penalties.

[Ord. 2010-06, 12/21/2010, § 1]
1. 
Within 30 days after invoice by the Chief of Police or coordinator, the owner, lessee or user of the property shall pay the false alarm fee. Failure to make the required payment within the allocated time period shall require the owner, lessee, or user to institute and be placed on verified response for the property for a period of six months from the date of notification as provided in § 3-105, Subsection 4A. If the payment is not received within 30 days after the date of the invoice, a penalty equal to the amount of the first invoice shall be added for each thirty-day period during which the invoice remains unpaid in full. In addition, the Township may institute proceedings before the district magistrate, or a court of competent jurisdiction, for the collection of the amount owed, penalties, attorney's fees and costs. Such fees, penalties, attorneys fees and costs shall be collectible as like debts are now by law collectible.
2. 
Any person who violates or commits the violation of any provision of this Part or who willfully falsely activates an alarm system shall be subject to a fine in the amount of at least $150, but not to exceed $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township. Upon a finding of liability for committing said violation, permitting said violation or willfully falsely activating an alarm system, in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township, the defendant shall pay the fine, plus all court costs, including attorney fees. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of determination of a violation by a district magistrate. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure.