[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Windsor 2-7-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Automated Alarm System Law of the Town of New Windsor."
The Police Department of the Town of New Windsor has reported to the Town Board extraordinary numbers of false alarms emanating from automated alarm systems. The false alarms unnecessarily require that our Police and Volunteer Fire Departments respond in an emergency fashion to signals which should not have been created. This deprives the citizens of this Town from the sorely needed services of our emergency forces and exposes the police and firemen to unnecessary hazards and risks. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter to reduce and minimize false alarms and other misleading or confusing signals or procedures, to encourage the use of reliable systems to facilitate the provision of emergency services to the public, and to provide a mechanism whereby those responsible for the creation of false alarms are dealt with in an appropriate fashion. This chapter is intended to serve the foregoing purposes by regulating the use, repair and/or maintenance of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices in the Town of New Windsor and to require conformity with the provisions of this chapter and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
- ALARM USER
- Any person, firm, corporation or business entity upon whose premises an alarm device is installed or operating. For purposes of this chapter, the alarm user is the person or entity in control or possession of the property on or in which the alarm is installed.
- AUTOMATIC DIAL ALARM
- Any police, fire or emergency medical alarm device or telephone attachment that automatically or electronically transmits a signal to preselected telephone lines connected to a central alarm station or police headquarters and reproduces a prerecorded message to report a criminal act or other emergency requiring police, fire or medical emergency response.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals to the Police Department or Fire Department where appropriate.
- DIRECT CONNECTION
- Any alarm device which transmits a signal or impulse over a leased telephone line to the alarm panel at police headquarters.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal actuated by police, fire or medical emergency alarm device, devices or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices which is not the result of natural disaster, act of God, a criminal act, fire or other emergency resulting in police, fire or other emergency services response. The term "false alarm" shall include human error and equipment malfunction causing the alarm to be activated and which results in police or fire response.
- POLICE, FIRE OR MEDICAL EMERGENCY ALARM DEVICE
- Any device which, when activated by a criminal act, fire or other emergency, transmits a prerecorded message or other signal by telephone, radio, central alarm station or audible or visible signal designed to cause any person within audible or visual range to notify the Police Department or Fire Department, requiring its respective emergency response.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Anything which annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of a significant number of persons of any community or neighborhood.
- SMOKE AND/OR HEAT DETECTOR
- Any device which, when activated by fire or smoke or other emergency, is designated to alert only the occupants of the building in which the smoke and/or heat detectors are installed of said emergency.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any automatic dial alarm to be directly connected to the emergency telephone line of the Police Department or the Fire Departments/Districts. Any such automatic dial alarm may be connected to a central alarm station or other answering service for notification to the appropriate service.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any police, fire or medical emergency alarm device to be connected to the Police Department. Any such police, fire or medical emergency device may be connected to a central alarm station or other answering service for notification to the appropriate service.
No person shall install, cause to be installed, maintain or cause to be maintained in a structure, building or establishment in the Town of New Windsor an external audible police, fire or medical emergency alarm device which does not also contain an automatic cutoff system or feature automatically cutting off the source of power to the alarm-sounding device after it has sounded for a period of not longer than 15 minutes.
Upon receiving complaints regarding a continuous, uninterrupted or continuously recurring signal, the Police Department shall endeavor to contact the alarm user or those persons designated by the alarm user as contacts in an effort to abate the nuisance. In the event the Police Department is unable to contact the alarm user or those designated as contacts or if the aforesaid person cannot or will not curtail the audible signal being emitted by the alarm system, the Police Department may direct a police officer, fire fighter or a qualified alarm technician to enter upon the property outside the home or building in which the alarm system is located and take any reasonable action necessary to abate the nuisance.
After an entry upon the property has been made in accordance with this section, the Police Department shall have the property secured, if necessary. The reasonable costs and expenses of abating a nuisance in accordance with this section may be assessed to the alarm user.
Under no circumstances shall the cost of any police, fire or medical emergency alarm device, devices or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices and the maintenance of the same be charged to the Town of New Windsor, its Police Department or Fire Department operating within the Town. The alarm user, owner or lessee of such police, fire or medical emergency alarm device shall be solely responsible for the service of his or her police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices and/or correcting any malfunction of the same that may occur.
The Chief of Police of the Town of New Windsor shall maintain a record of all false alarms, enter them upon the police blotter and maintain them as police records in the regular course of business. The Fire Chiefs of the fire districts servicing the Town of New Windsor, including but not limited to New Windsor (Quassaick Fire Company), Vails Gate, Salisbury Mills, Washingtonville, Maybrook and Coldenham, shall also maintain, in the regular course of business, a record of false alarms received in their respective departments.
It shall be unlawful for any alarm user to install or maintain an alarm system in violation of any part of this chapter.
It shall be further unlawful for any alarm user to permit a false alarm in violation of any part of this chapter.
Offenses and fines.
Any alarm user having a police, fire or medical emergency alarm device in violation of this chapter, or who causes a false alarm in violation of this chapter, shall be subject to the following fines payable to the Town Court cumulatively during any calendar year:
A separate offense shall be deemed committed for each false alarm requiring a response by police, fire or emergency medical personnel and/or for each day any alarm user permits any alarm device to remain in violation of this chapter.
All police, fire and medical emergency device fines and false alarm charges shall be collected by the Town Court.
None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices installed in Town-owned buildings, motor vehicles or trailers or to smoke and/or heat detectors, as defined in § 86-3 of this chapter.
The Town of New Windsor shall take every reasonable precaution that alarm signals received by the Town are given appropriate and immediate attention. Nevertheless, the Town shall not be liable for any defects in operation of any police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices, for any failure to respond appropriately on any alarm signal or for the transmission of alarm signals or messages or the relaying of such signals or messages. In the event that the Town orders the disconnection or removal of a police, fire or medical emergency alarm device or system of police, fire or medical emergency alarm devices pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the Town shall incur no liability therefrom.
Any code officer or police officer shall have the power, right and authority to issue an appearance ticket as defined and authorized in § 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York and §§ 5-1 through 5-4 in the Town Code of the Town of New Windsor for the violation of any section of this chapter.