[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of White as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 174.
Article I Alarm Devices and False Alarms
[Adopted 11-12-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-6]
Editor's Note: This ordinance was originally adopted as Ch. 175 but was renumbered to fit the alphabetic sequence of the Code.
The purpose of this article is to alleviate conditions which lead to an unnecessary drain on the manpower, time, space, facilities, and finances of the Townships of White and Belvidere to the police and Fire Departments and deterioration of the quality of services to persons subscribing to alarm services. All alarms sent to the Fire Department must be by dial alarm.
The provisions of this article shall apply to any person, other than the Township, who operates, maintains or owns any alarm device designed to summon the Fire Department or other municipal agency to any location in response to any type of alarm signal. Excluded from the provisions of this article are interior sound, battery-operated smoke alarms. The terms of this article shall in no way prohibit alarm companies from providing services by private source to other offices within or without the Township.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM DEVICE
- Any type of alarm-actuating equipment which provides warning of intrusion, fire, smoke, burglary, flood or like peril.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- The installment in one or more buildings of one or more alarm devices for the express purpose of giving visual or audible warning, or both, of an emergency, such as burglary, intrusion, fire, smoke, flood or like perils.
- DIAL ALARM
- An alarm device that employs an automatic dialing system with an automatic cutoff, precoded to connect with a telephone to the Fire Department.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system by causes other than those to which the alarm system was designed or intended to respond.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Belvidere Good Will Fire Company No. 1.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any mechanism that constitutes, in whole or in part, an alarm system that may or may not be designed to activate an annunciator control panel at a police station or at a private company at a location other than the property of the Township. Local alarms also include any alarm device or alarm system that provides warning signals only at the property location.
All components of alarm systems, alarm devices, dial alarms, and local alarms shall be maintained by the owners or users thereof in good repair. When evidence exists that there has been a failure by such owner or users to properly maintain the alarm devices, the Police Chief is authorized to demand that such devices be disconnected until such time as appropriate repairs and/or modifications are made.
All local alarms shall be equipped with a time relay or battery to limit the sounding of alarms to 30 minutes or less.
All local alarms shall be registered with the Fire Department. A local alarm shall be deemed registered when the occupant of the building in which it is installed shall have filed with the Fire Department a registration form which shall include, among other data, the location of the device, the installer of the device, the type of device, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of names and telephone numbers of the persons to be contacted in the event of alarm, the names of the persons or company maintaining the alarm system, and any other information as may be required by the Fire Department.
No person shall maintain or operate any alarm except in conformance with this article.
No dial alarm shall be permitted unless:
It shall first have been approved by the Fire Department after proof has been submitted that said dial alarm has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission and the performance of a test alarm conducted by the applicant.
It shall first have been registered with the Fire Department as hereinafter required.
The applicant consents to the inspection of the premises where the alarm is located during working hours or other mutually agreeable times.
The applicant maintains at the Fire Department the names, telephone number and address of a relative, neighbor or other third party who can be contacted by the Fire Department in case of an alarm.
All dial alarms shall be coded to dial a special number of the Fire Department when designated or provided by the Fire Department.
All dial alarms shall be capable of being disconnected by the owner or his designee to permit a call to the Fire Department in the event that a false alarm occurs.
The owner of each dial alarm system shall pay to the Fire Department an annual fee of $25 to cover the cost of registration and testing and to amortize the cost of the special telephone line or lines which may be required in the Fire Department, along with ancillary tape devices necessitated by these systems and additional records that should be maintained.
The owner of dial alarms shall be governed by the false alarm procedures and penalties set forth in this article.
If any person has a dial alarm in existence at the time of the passage of this article, he shall have 60 days in which to program the equipment to comply with the terms of this article.
No dial alarm shall dial a telephone number other than the number designated for dial alarms as specified by the Fire Department.
The taped contents of any recorded message from a dial alarm must be intelligible and in a format approved by the Fire Department. No such message shall be transmitted more than three times to the Fire Department as a result of a single stimulus of the mechanism.
The sensory mechanism of dial alarms shall be adjusted so as to suppress false indications and not to be actuated by impulses due to, among other things, pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind, noises, rattling or vibration of doors or windows or other forces unrelated to general alarms.
All components of dial alarms shall be maintained by the owner or his designee in good repair. When evidence exists that there has been failure to comply with the operation requirements of this article, the Fire Department is then authorized to demand that such device be disconnected until such time as compliance with such requirements is reestablished, and any person violating the operation or registration requirements of this article shall be subject to the penalties set forth herein.
A dial alarm must provide an automatic line seizure feature in the event this line is busy with an incoming or outgoing call.
In the case of false alarms which summon the Police or Fire Department to investigate, the Fire Department shall advise the Township Building Department to cause an investigation to be made and shall keep a record of such false alarms on file. The Township Building Department shall be responsible to prosecute any and all violations under this article.
Penalties for false alarms. In any calendar-year period, the following penalties shall apply:
For the first alarm, a written warning shall be issued.
For the second or third false alarm, a fine of $75 shall be imposed for each such false alarm.
For the fourth, fifth or sixth false alarm, a fine of $100 shall be imposed for each such false alarm.
For the seventh, eighth, ninth or 10th false alarm, a fine of $150 shall be imposed for each such false alarm.
For the 11th through the 20th, a fine of $2,50 shall be imposed for each such false alarm.
For any violation in excess of the 20th, a fine of $500 shall be imposed for each such false alarm.
Penalties for intentional false alarms. Any individual intentionally, willfully, or maliciously destroying or injuring any of the posts, alarm boxes or other alarm apparatus owned by the Township or intentionally, willfully, or maliciously interfering with the operation of same or any part thereof or who hinders or impedes any of the operations intended to be accomplished thereby or who intentionally causes or assists in causing a false alarm of fire or other emergency to be given in any manner shall, upon conviction thereof, be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days or shall forfeit and pay a fine not less than $500 and not more than $1,000.
For any person convicted of a violation of this article, in addition to the revocation of the license or permit of any person, or any person found guilty of failure to comply with any rules or regulations duly promulgated pursuant thereto, such person may, after being found guilty of such violation, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000.
Said maximum fine of $1,000 shall not apply in those instances in which the amount of the maximum penalty has hereinbefore been limited to a lesser amount by this article. In the case of a continuing violation, the violator may be found guilty of as many separate offenses or counts as the number of days he is proved to have continued in violation of this article.