[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Hartford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-6-1989 by L.L. No. 9-1989]
This article shall be known as the "Emergency Alarm System Law of the Town of New Hartford," which shall be applicable to the five Fire Protection Districts located within said town, and each respective district as referred to shall refer to that particular area of responsibility as set forth in the areas designated in the contracts between said town and that particular Fire Protection District. These Fire Protection Districts are known as:
It is the purpose of this article to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of New Hartford Fire Protection Districts by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to emergency agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to a high accident rate and delayed responses to genuine emergencies. This article seeks to ensure that fire communications facilities will be available to dispatch fire and emergency personnel for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible alarms to the surrounding community. Another purpose of this article is to contact responsible people to notify them of the activation of the alarm. This article also requires registration of alarm businesses and subscribers for the purpose of permitting the town to communicate with them regarding the administration of this article.
For the purpose of this article, 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.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- The business by any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any security system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any emergency alarm system in or on any building, structure, or facility. Exemption: The provisions of this article shall not apply to a person who engages in the manufacture and/or sale of an emergency alarm system from a fixed location who neither visits the location where the emergency alarm system is to be installed, nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the emergency alarm system in a specific location.
- EMERGENCY ALARM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of fire or for the detection of an unauthorized entry into or exit from a building, structure or facility or for altering others to the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or both, and which emits an audible exterior signal at the scene of the installation or when activated transmit a signal or message which terminates in any manner at the respective Fire Departments responsible to the Town of New Hartford, and whether or not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible with or without the protected building structure or facility.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal from an emergency alarm system or notification by an answering service which calls for a response by that respective Fire Department responsible to the Town of New Hartford where an emergency situation does not exist. Subscribers and/or permittees shall notify that respective Fire Department responsible to the Town of New Hartford prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance, adjustment, alteration or installation which might actuate a false alarm. Alarms caused by problems with public utilities shall not be considered a false alarm.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Town of New Hartford.
- Written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee, or given by United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address. Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service, or upon the placing of the same in the custody of United States Postal Service.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity required to obtain a permit pursuant to § 41-10 hereof.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- An emergency alarm system may constitute a public nuisance if it actuates more than:
- Any person who owns, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains an emergency alarm system.
Each and every emergency alarm system in all New Hartford Fire Protection Districts shall be properly maintained by personnel licensed by the town pursuant to § 41-10 hereafter.
There shall be no testing of emergency alarm systems by any alarm business, subscriber or the subscriber's agent that would normally summon the Public Safety Committee unless such test is first cleared and verified through that respective Fire Department for the Town of New Hartford where such emergency alarm system terminates.
Each and every emergency alarm system which terminates in a module at the respective Fire Department for the Town of New Hartford must be electrically wired at a reversing relay at the subscriber's residence or place of business.
Each and every dialer alarm, whether tape, digital or otherwise, which shall terminate at the respective Fire Department, shall terminate at said respective Fire Department only at the number assigned to said alarm by that respective Fire Department
Tape dialer alarms shall also be programmed to dial the subscriber or a representative of the subscriber.
Any new installation of a dialer which shall terminate at that respective Fire Department must be of the digital type which sends a signal rather than a voice and must be compatible with the receiving equipment which has been installed at that respective Fire Department
Any change of ownership or replacement of an emergency alarm installation shall be considered a new installation and shall mandate that if a dialer be installed at that location, it must be a digital dialer.
Following fire response to the actuation of an alarm, the subscriber shall file a written report with the respective Fire Department responsible for his/her Fire Protection District within 72 hours of such notification. Such report shall contain all information pertaining to the activation of said alarm and any planned corrective action. Where the emergency alarm system is serviced by an alarm business, the report shall be made to the subscriber and a copy forwarded to the alarm business by the subscriber. That respective Fire Department shall provide a standard false alarm report in three parts, allowing one each for subscriber, alarm business and that respective Fire Department.
In the case of an alarm received, it is mandated that a representative of the subscriber, or the subscriber, respond to the scene to verify the security of the premises. In addition to the penalties provided for herein for violation of any section of this article, failure of the subscriber or representative thereof to verify the security of the premises following an alarm shall serve to release the town and that respective Fire Department from further liability with respect to the premises.
No alarm business shall be permitted to do business in that respective Fire Protection District without first being licensed to do so by the Town of New Hartford.
The annual fee for such alarm supplier license shall be $25.
Application for licenses required hereunder shall be filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of New Hartford and shall be accompanied by the requisite fee. The respective Chiefs of Fire Departments, or designee thereof, in conjunction one with the other, shall prescribe an appropriate form of application requesting information as is necessary to evaluate and act upon the license application. Said applications shall be obtainable in the Town Clerk's office of the Town of New Hartford and shall be filed therewith with the appropriate fee, after which a copy shall be distributed to each appropriate Fire Protection District for filing within that Fire Department.
No subscriber shall install, or cause to be installed, an emergency alarm system in that respective Fire Protection District without first filing an application for an alarm permit and emergency card for premises with the Town of New Hartford.
Every application for an alarm permit shall be accompanied by a one-time nonrefundable fee of $25. Additionally, any modification or change of ownership or location of an existing emergency alarm system shall require submission of a revised application for an alarm permit and updated emergency card for premises and additional permit fee of $25.
Applications for all alarm permits, including emergency cards, required hereunder shall be filed with the Town Clerk of the Town of New Hartford and shall be accompanied by the requisite fee. The Chief of the Fire Department or designee thereof, of each Fire Protection District shall prescribe the form of the application and request such information as is necessary to evaluate and act upon the permit application.
Any license or permit issued hereunder may be suspended and/or revoked by the Fire Chief of that respective Fire Protection District, or designee thereof, upon the grounds listed in § 41-13 hereinafter.
The following shall constitute grounds for suspension or revocation:
The violation of any of the provisions of this article;
Where an alarm system actuates excessive false alarms and thereby constitutes a public nuisance, as defined hereinbefore;
The suspension and/or revocation of a permit or license may be appealed by an aggrieved person to the Town Board of the Town of New Hartford within 30 days of notification of said determination to suspend and/or revoke.
This article shall be enforced by the Town of New Hartford and its respective enforcement departments.
Any person violating any provisions of this article shall be deemed guilty of a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both, unless otherwise provided for herein.
Penalties shall be levied against any subscriber or subscriber's agent who transmits a false alarm, or alarms, as defined herein, whether caused by human error or malfunction of equipment at the subscriber's terminal as follows:
The intentional transmission of a false alarm shall further be punishable under the New York State Penal Law.
The conviction or punishment of any person for violation of the provisions of this article or for failing to secure a permit or license as required by this article shall not relieve such person from paying fees due and unpaid at the time of such conviction, nor shall payment of any fee prevent prosecution for violation of any of the provisions of this article. The amount of any fee shall be deemed a debt to the town. An action may be commenced in the name of the town in any court of competent jurisdiction for the amount of any delinquent fee.
Any penalties that remain unpaid shall become a lien upon the real estate where the alarm system is located and shall be added in and collected with the property tax of the Town of New Hartford on such parcel.
The Fire Chief of that respective Fire Protection District, or designee thereof, may promulgate rules and regulations as deemed necessary for the proper administration of this article. Said rules and regulations shall be deemed valid and effective only after submission to the Town Board of the Town of New Hartford and approved and passed by appropriate legislation.
The Town of New Hartford shall not be liable for any defects in operation of emergency alarm systems nor for failure to respond appropriately nor for any erroneous response nor for the failure or defect of any licensee pursuant to the provisions of this article with respect to the installation, operation or maintenance of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals or messages or the relaying of such signals or messages.
In the event that the town finds it necessary to disconnect a module or signaling device, the town shall incur no liability therefrom.
Any applicant for a permit under this article shall be required to notify the Town of New Hartford of the name of their liability insurance carrier and either such owner or installer shall authorize the Town of New Hartford through their application for permit to notify said insurance company in the event of a violation of this article.