[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Albion 8-10-2020 by L.L. No. 1-2020. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be referred to as "Local law No. 1-2020, adding Chapter 79 to the Albion Town Code concerning an Alarm Permit Law."
Editor's Note: This chapter was enacted as Ch. 79 but was renumbered to fit the alphabetic sequence of the Code.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the legislative authority in Municipal Home Law § 10 and Town Law §§ 261 through 264.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Albion by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to emergency agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to the ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to high accident rates and delayed responses to genuine emergencies. This chapter seeks to ensure that communication facilities will be available to dispatch personnel for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible alarms to the surrounding community. Another purpose of this chapter is to contact responsible people to notify them as to activation of the alarm. This chapter requires registration of alarm businesses and subscribers for the purpose of permitting the Town to communicate with them regarding the administration of this chapter.
For the purposes of this chapter, certain words and phrases shall be construed herein as set forth in this section, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended.
- ALARM AGENT
- Any person who is employed by an alarm business, either directly or indirectly, and whose duties include any of the following: selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing, on or in any building, structure or facility, an alarm system. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to a person who engages in the manufacture or sale of an alarm system from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where an alarm system is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of an alarm system in a specific location.
- ALARM BUSINESS
- The business by a person, partnership, corporation, or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing an alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of fire, smoke, heat and/or unauthorized entry or intrusion and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to, internet-connected devices, direct-dial telephone devices, audible alarms and proprietor alarms. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility are not included within this definition, nor are auxiliary devices installed by a telephone company or a cable television company to protect its systems which might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system.
- A person who perfects an appeal pursuant to this chapter.
- A person, firm or corporation filing an application for a permit(s) provided in this chapter.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device designed for the detection of fire, smoke, heat and/or unauthorized entry or intrusion and generating an audible sound on the premises when activated. This chapter does not apply to audible alarms affixed to vehicles.
- AVOIDABLE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of said system or by any other cause which, through direct connection to an emergency agency by an answering point or automatic dialing device or through notification to emergency agency by any other second party or means, falsely and/or inaccurately indicates that an emergency situation exists. Avoidable alarm does not include an alarm activated by force of nature. Avoidable alarm does not include an emergency or disaster drill conducted with prior notice to the emergency agency. Activation of an alarm system under any circumstances in which the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists is not an avoidable alarm.
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Albion.
- A calendar day.
- Written notice by personal service or by United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his/her last known address. Service of such notice shall be effective upon completion of personal service or upon placing of same in the custody of the United States Postal Service.
- Any alarm agent or alarm business granted a permit as provided herein.
- A natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
- Any person who owns, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains an alarm system. A person or entity may be both a subscriber and an alarm business.
- The Town of Albion, Orleans County, New York, or any area outside the corporate limits of the Town of Albion in which the Town of Albion is required by law or contract to provide firefighting, emergency response or security services.
The Board hereby prescribes the following minimum standards and regulations for the installation, construction and maintenance of an alarm system within the Town of Albion:
Alarm equipment shall be securely mounted to the building structure. A suitable moisture barrier shall be provided between equipment and any exterior masonry walls.
All protective circuit wiring shall have conductors no smaller than No. 18AWG.
Wiring between a battery or power supply to an audible signal shall be of sufficient gauge to have no greater than a 15% voltage drop.
Alarm wiring shall not be run in the same conduit as Class 1, 2 and 3 power lines. Burglar and fire alarms conductors of Class 2 and Class 3 circuits shall not be placed in any enclosure, raceway, cable tray, cable compartment, outlet box or similar fitting with conductors of light, power and Class 1 circuits.
All splices shall be twisted and secured with solderless crimp conductors. Connection of wires to screw terminals shall be made using a space lug (either crimp or solder type). Terminal boards with clamping washers will not require a spade lug or soldering. Wire nuts and punch block connections are also permitted.
Grounding shall be in compliance with the 2017 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70-2017) Section 25-20 under conditions of Section 250-20(A)(1), (2) and (3).
There shall be no testing of alarms by any alarm business, alarm agents or subscribers that would normally summon fire services without prior approval of the Albion Fire Department.
Users of alarm systems are to be thoroughly instructed as to the operation and testing of all equipment, standby power, procedures to be followed relating to avoidable alarms and recommended replacement periods of dry-cell batteries.
All wiring for fire alarm systems is to be in accordance with NFPA 70-2017, Article 760, and in accordance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
All equipment must be listed or labeled by a recognized testing agency, such as Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., F.M., Electric Testing Laboratories, C.S.A. Any system installed in accordance with these specifications shall be considered acceptable.
Authorized company identification must include the name, height, recent photograph, company name, street address, telephone number, and signatures of the employee, the company official and issuing officer.
All devices must meet all standards prior to issuance of a permit. The Code Enforcement Officer must inspect and approve of any alarm system to be installed in the Town. The Code Enforcement Officer may require a certification form to be completed and executed by a permittee certifying that an alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by said permittee and that same conforms to all standards set forth herein.
Any person maintaining an audible alarm must post a notice containing the names, street address and telephone numbers of individuals to be notified for repairs, service and/or securing of the premises when an alarm is activated, said notice to be legibly posted near an alarm. Any such person must also file this information with the Albion Police Department, Orleans County's Sheriff's Dispatch Office and the Albion Fire Department.
Each audible alarm shall be designated so as to terminate its alarm within 15 minutes from initiation.
The Code Enforcement Officer, Albion Fire Department officers or any law enforcement officer can disable an audible alarm that has not been terminated within a fifteen-minute period from initiation without liability for any resulting damages.
No person shall engage in, conduct or carry on an alarm business without first applying for and receiving an alarm business permit in accordance with the provisions of the New York State General Business Law Article 6-D.
No person shall engage in or operate as an alarm agent unless registered with the Code Enforcement Office as an authorized alarm business.
Any person repairing, servicing, altering, replacing, removing, designing, selling, leasing, maintaining or installing an alarm system must possess a valid identification card as set forth in the New York State General Business Law.
No person shall possess or use an alarm system without first applying for and receiving an alarm permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. This shall not be enforced against alarm systems installed and operating on the effective date of this chapter for a period of 30 calendar days after said effective date. The issuing authority shall be the Code Enforcement Officer. No permit shall be issued unless and until the application for same has been approved in writing by the Code Enforcement Officer.
Any application for a permit must be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee payable at the time of application. The Code Enforcement Officer shall prescribe the form of the application and request such information as is necessary to act upon a permit application. The form of a permit application is to be approved by the Town Board. The application for alarm systems shall require the name, street address, and telephone number of the person who will render service or repairs and contain signatures of the employee, the company official and the issuing officer. Permits are required for an alarm system in any structure located in the Town of Albion as described herein.
A permit shall be kept where the alarm system is located. The Code Enforcement Officer is to issue an appropriate permit identification tag and establish requirements for posting.
Whenever any change occurs relating to the written information required by this chapter, the applicant or permittee shall give written notice thereof to the Code Enforcement Officer within 20 days after such change or at any hearing conducted under this chapter if such hearing is conducted before said notice has been given.
The Code Enforcement Officer can investigate alleged violations of this chapter. Any person alleged to be in violation of this chapter shall be given a notice of the alleged violation, submit any response to be considered by the Code Enforcement Officer and have an opportunity to be heard during the investigative process.
If a person is found to be in violation of this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer shall give notice to the person determined to be in violation with a written order of suspension. Thereafter, the person in violation shall surrender the permit to the Code Enforcement Officer until such time as the violation has been remediated and/or corrected in the sole discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement Officer can reinstate an alarm system permit upon receipt of a certification that the alarm system has been inspected, maintained and/or remediated, said certification to be in a form and substance acceptable to the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to this chapter.
A permit application can be denied by the Code Enforcement Officer if the alarm system does not comply with the contents of this chapter. A permit can be revoked 90 days after any title transfer of premises containing an alarm system unless a permittee certifies that said system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee after such title transfer.
The following shall constitute grounds for suspension and revocation of an alarm system permit:
A violation of any provision in this chapter.
When an alarm system activates excessive avoidable alarms and thereby constitutes a public nuisance (deemed to be five avoidable alarms in any ninety-day period).
When a false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact has been made in either the application for a permit or in any report required to be filed.
When a subscriber has had a similar permit previously revoked for good cause within the last calendar year.
When a subscriber has failed to keep his at her alarm system in good repair.
When a subscriber has failed to notify the Code Enforcement Officer, the proper dispatching office and/or any party who would receive direct communication of an alarm prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance, adjustment, alteration or installation which might activate an avoidable alarm. For the purposes of these standards and regulations, any alarm activated where such prior notice has been given shall constitute an avoidable alarm.
The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to establish a cancellation code to be made available to subscribers who desire the ability to avoid an alarm which might otherwise be deemed an avoidable alarm. No penalty shall be imposed for alarms which are canceled in accordance with such procedures.
In addition to other provisions of this chapter, any person found in violation shall be liable for civil penalties for each violation, as set forth from time to time by the Board and currently as follows:
Failure to have alarm business permit or alarm agent permit: $200.
Failure to have an alarm system permit; provided, however, that until one year from the effective date of this chapter, said penalty shall be deemed waived if the subscriber obtains an alarm system permit within 10 days of notification of the violation: $100.
Failure to terminate an audible alarm: $100.
The following fees shall be due and payable as indicated and at rates from time to time established by resolution of the Town Board:
An annual permit fee of $100 shall be due and payable on January 1, 2021, and on January 1 of each subsequent year thereafter for each alarm.
A permit shall expire one year after the date of issuance. Applications for renewals or permits shall be approved only upon certification by a permittee that the alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee within the past 90 days in conformity to this chapter.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this chapter, or the application thereof to any person, individual, firm or corporation, or circumstance, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this chapter, or in its application to the person, individual, firm or corporation, or circumstance, directly involved in the controversy in which said order or judgment shall be rendered.
This chapter shall take effect upon the date it is filed in the office of the New York State Secretary of State in accordance with Municipal Home Rule Law § 27.