[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Chestnuthill as indicated in the article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Nuisances — See Ch. 74.
Article I Nuisance Fire Alarms
[Adopted 2-20-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-02]
The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, shall have the following meanings ascribed to them:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A device or assembly of equipment or devices designed or arranged to signal the presence or existence of a hazard requiring urgent attention of Fire Department personnel. These systems include:
- A. Smoke, fire, sprinkler alarms and any other alarm which requires an emergency response by the Fire Department;
- B. Those systems terminating at a dedicated piece of equipment within the Fire Department;
- C. Automatic devices which transmit voice reproductions or messages over telephone lines; and
- D. Systems which notify certain alarm stations who in turn notify the Fire Department.
- ALARM OWNER
- Any person who owns, possesses, controls, or otherwise exercises dominion over a premises or property, or who regularly supervises the operation of any business thereon, on or in regard to which premises or property an alarm system is maintained. This shall include, but not be limited to, a person who is the grantee under a deed, purchaser under a contract or a tenant.
- BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
- The Board of Supervisors of Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
- FALSE FIRE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system resulting in a signal or calls being received by the Fire Department when there is no threat to life, safety, or property requiring its urgent attention in, on, or at the property in regard to which the signal or call was sent. A false fire alarm includes, but is not limited to, activation of an alarm system caused by human error; a mechanical or system malfunction which results from neglect or failure to maintain; or an intentional activation when no threat is present which may also be subject to criminal prosecution.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The West End Fire Company, as well as any other fire company which is an officially designated provider of fire protection in Chestnuthill Township.
- A. Except as herein otherwise expressly provided, two or more false alarms in a forty-eight-hour period, three or more false alarms in a seven day period, and four or more false alarms in one calendar year, from the same premises, which cause the Fire Department to be alerted, whether or not an actual response to the premises by the Fire Department occurs, shall each constitute a nuisance fire alarm
- B. A false fire alarm shall not be counted for purposes of determining whether a nuisance fire alarm occurred, if it is determined by the Fire Department official in charge that the false alarm was caused by:
- (1) A natural or man-made catastrophe or an act of God. Such events include, but are not limited to, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes or other similar violent conditions, adverse weather conditions, or power failure/restoration.
- (2) The testing of a local/audible alarm system by a licensed alarm business, agent, or employee who is present at the premises servicing, repairing or installing the alarm when the agent or user has contacted the alarm company and informed them of the test (with documented proof).
- (3) Activation by other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm owner.
- Any individual, public or private corporation, for profit or not for profit, association, partnership, limited-liability company, firm, trust, estate, department, board, bureau or agency of the commonwealth or the federal government, political subdivision, municipality, district, authority, or any other legal entity whatsoever which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- A lot, plot, or parcel of land, including any buildings and structures thereon.
- Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting by and through its Board of Supervisors, and including any authorized person acting on its behalf.
- TOWNSHIP CODES ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The administrative officer or other authorized individual appointed by the Board of Supervisors charged with the duty of administering and enforcing the provisions of this article.
The alarm owner shall be responsible for all false fire alarms emanating from, or in relation to, the alarm owner's property, and said alarm owner shall promptly take any and all necessary actions to correct/repair, or otherwise implement procedures with respect to, the fire alarm system to prevent false fire alarms in the future. The Township Codes Enforcement Officer will send a written notice/warning to such alarm owner by United States first-class mail, regarding each such false fire alarm, until the number of false fire alarms constitutes a nuisance fire alarm.
Upon determination that a nuisance fire alarm has occurred, the Township Codes Enforcement Officer shall issue and either personally deliver or send by both United States certified mail, return receipt requested, and United States first-class mail to the last known address of the alarm owner, a notice of violation advising of such nuisance fire alarm, and assessing a fine in the amount of $100 for each such nuisance fire alarm, which fine shall be paid to the Township, in full, within 14 days after the date of the notice of violation. Failure of the alarm owner to pay said fine on or before its due date shall constitute a separate violation of this article.
The Township Codes Enforcement Officer shall be responsible for the enforcement of the terms of this article.
This article shall be enforced by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person, partnership, corporation or other entity who or which violates or permits a violation of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 per violation, plus all court costs and reasonable attorney's fees incurred by Chestnuthill Township in the enforcement proceedings, and/or be imprisoned to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Each day or portion thereof that a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate violation. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of Chestnuthill Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance with this article. All fines, penalties, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees collected for the violation of this article shall be paid to Chestnuthill Township for its general use.