[HISTORY: Adopted by the Merchantville Borough Council 8-10-1981 by Ord. No. 575. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for the operation and maintenance of various types of intrusion, burglar, fire and other emergency alarm devices, whether by direct line, radio, telephone or other means actuating a device at the police headquarters of the Borough of Merchantville and/or at the Camden County Communications Center Lindenwold, New Jersey, and requiring a response thereto by the Police Department, the Fire Department or other municipal agencies.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases are defined as follows:
- ALARM CONSOLE
- The console or control panel of devices giving a visual or audio response, or both, and located within the confines of the police headquarters of the Borough of Merchantville and/or the Camden County Communications Center and/or any other official location recognized by all parties herein.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility, or for alerting others about the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or for alerting others about the existence of any other condition requiring response of police, fire or ambulance personnel, and which emits and/or transmits an audible and/or visual signal or message when actuated. "Alarm systems" include but are not limited to direct-dial telephone devices, audible alarms and subscriber alarms.
- ALARM SYSTEM, FIRE
- Any alarm designed or used for the detection of fire or other conditions requiring the presence of fire personnel and/or fire apparatus.
- ALARM SYSTEM, SECURITY
- Any alarm system designed or used for the detection of those conditions requiring the response primarily of the police or ambulance personnel and not that of fire or fire personnel.
- AMBULANCE/RESCUE SQUAD AND/OR PERSONNEL
- The Merchantville Emergency Medical Squad (MEMS).
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device that emits an audible signal from the premises that it is designed to protect.
- The Borough of Merchantville.
- DIRECT-DIAL ALARM
- A device that, when actuated, causes a recorded message to be transmitted, via telephone, to the Merchantville Police Communications Center and/or the Camden County Communications Center, stating that emergency response is necessary and/or requested.
- EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER
- The primary phone number advertised to the public for requesting emergency service.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal, necessitating response by the Merchantville
Police, the Merchantville Fire Department or the Merchantville Emergency
Medical Squad personnel where an emergency does not exist; any alarm
actuated by inadvertence, negligence or an unintentional act of someone
other than an intruder, fire or that which the alarm system is designed
to do, and includes as well alarms caused by the malfunctioning of
the alarm device or other relevant equipment. An alarm that has been
activated by an external source that is beyond the reasonable control
of the subscriber or malfunction of the alarm console shall not be
considered false.[Amended 12-8-1997]
- FIRE and/or FIRE PERSONNEL
- The Merchantville Fire Department and\or the volunteer fire
company or companies, and its members, operating the Merchantville
Fire Department.[Amended 12-8-1997]
- The Merchantville Police Department.
- SUBSCRIBER ALARM
- An alarm system that is terminated by direct connections to the Merchantville Police Communications Center and/or the Camden County Communications Center, Lindenwold, New Jersey, in accordance with regulations prescribed in separate legislation.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons, entities, firms, corporations or other groups that maintain alarm systems within the borough to provide current information to the police, consisting of the names and telephone numbers of responsible persons who may be contacted in case of emergency or who are authorized to provide service to the alarm system. Either must be on a twenty-four-hour basis. This information is to be filed with the Police Department when the alarm system is initially placed into service and must be revised immediately whenever changes are necessary.
Audible alarms must be silenced within 60 minutes after a designated responsible person is notified to do so by the police, or the alarm system may be equipped with a timing device that will automatically silence the audible alarm within 60 minutes after it is actuated.
The direct-dial alarms shall not be connected to the emergency phone numbers of either the police or fire personnel of the Borough of Merchantville. A secondary phone will be provided for direct-dial alarms only (662-0500). Direct-dial alarms must be equipped with a device that will prevent more than three repeated transmissions of an alarm for the same emergencies to the Communications Centers of the police or fire personnel. Recorded messages must also include the name and telephone number of a responsible person who may be contacted by the police in case of an emergency on a twenty-four-hour basis.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons, entities, firms, corporations or other groups that maintain alarm systems within the borough to prevent the transmission of false alarms through a program of training and periodic inspection and maintenance of the system. The maximum permissible number of false alarms from any one location shall be as follows:
False alarms in excess of these standards shall be considered to be in violation of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the general alerting alarms that may be used by fire personnel, ambulance squads or civil defense agencies to summon response of their members. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to alarm systems that are affixed to motor vehicles.
[Amended 5-27-1997; 12-8-1997]
Any person, entity, firm, corporation or other group that is found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100.00. Each incident shall be considered as a separate violation. In addition to any penalty that may be adjudicated by the court, the Chief of Police may authorize the disconnection of subscriber alarms from the Police Communications Center after giving 20 days written notice to the subscriber. In addition to any court penalty adjudicated by the court, the Chief of the Merchantville Fire Department may authorize the disconnection of subscriber alarms from the Fire Communications Center after giving 20 days written notice to the subscriber.
The provisions contained herein shall apply equally to those alarm systems that were placed in service prior to or subsequent to the effective date of this chapter.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with this chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistencies only.
This chapter shall become effective 90 days after passage and publication.