[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Cresskill 2-6-2002 by Ord. No. 02-37-1245. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of intrusion, burglar, fire, smoke and other emergency alarm devices, whether it be a dial alarm or a local alarm.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to any person who operates, maintains, or owns any dial alarm, local alarm or direct line hook-up alarm to any alarm company, answering service or police alarm board which is designed to summon the police, Fire Department or other municipal agency to any location in response to any type of alarm signal.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- DIAL ALARM
- That type of device using telephone lines transmitting an alarm directly through the police switchboard.
- DIRECT LINE HOOK-UP
- Any alarm that goes directly to any answering service.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence, unintentional act or accident by a resident or some other person authorized to be in the house or building, or any alarm that is transmitted to the Police Department which, when checked, shows no evidence in the house or other alarmed building of any intruder having gained entry or having attempted to gain entry, or no intruder inside the house or building. These alarms shall be deemed to be a malfunction of the alarm device, and such malfunction is also determined to be a false alarm.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm or device which, when activated, produces a visual or noise signal and which is not connected by telephone line to the police switchboard.
- RADIO TRANSMITTED ALARM
- A two-way radio network which connects an alarm system to the central monitoring station without wires.
No person may install or cause to be installed a dial alarm or local alarm device without first making application to and obtaining a written permit for the installation from the Chief of Police.
Registration. Any person who owns or operates a dial alarm or local alarm shall make application for the continuance thereof, in writing, to the Chief of Police on or before January 15 of each year for a permit to run for the remainder of the year. The annual permit fee shall be $30 per alarm. Any person who installs any alarm after January 15 of any year shall be required to obtain a permit for the balance of the year and the fee for such permit shall be $30. The application shall contain the information requested, including but not limited to the location of the device, the name and address of the installer of the device, the type of device, provisions relating to false alarms and testing procedures, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm and other information as may be required by the Chief of Police.
Persons having either a dial or local alarm device shall be required to leave with the Police Department the name of a person or persons (with regular and cell phone numbers) who can be reached in case of malfunction of the equipment in order that the device can be temporarily disconnected.
Persons having alarm devices which are being tested or repaired shall notify the Police Department before tests or repairs commence and after completion so as to avoid the possibility of activating a false alarm.
If access to the premises cannot otherwise be gained within a thirty-minute period, then, at any time thereafter, any police officer may enter any premises in order to deactivate any such alarm by forced entry, if no other means are readily available, and in such event neither the Chief of Police nor any police officer, nor the Police Department, nor the Borough of Cresskill, nor any of its representatives, shall be responsible to the property owner or any other person in interest for any damage which may result from the forced entry, provided that the means of said forced entry are reasonable and consistent with the purpose of this provision.
All alarms must have an automatic reset device with a five-to-ten automatic shutoff and reset feature.
Knowledge of false alarm; investigation. In any case of a false alarm, any person having knowledge thereof shall immediately notify the Police Department in the fastest possible manner. The Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made of all false alarms and keep a record of such alarms on file.
Exception to charge. If any alarm comes in and the officer on duty deems it to be caused by any storm, hurricane or severe weather condition, power failure or power restoration or any type of line malfunction, between the home, alarm receiving company or Police Department, or any other similar occurrence, the alarm shall be noted but not charged against the homeowner or business as a false alarm.
For false alarms, the Mayor and Council prescribe the following penalties:
For the first through fifth false alarm in any given calendar year, a warning shall be issued.
For the sixth and seventh false alarm in the same calendar year, a fine of $25 shall be paid to the Borough.
For the eighth and any subsequent false alarms in the same calendar year, a fine of $50 shall be paid to the Borough.
After the eighth false alarm in any given calendar year, the Mayor and Council reserve the right to require disconnection of the device for a limited or permanent time. No permit shall be revoked or suspended without giving the permittee a written opportunity to show cause before the Mayor and Council at its next scheduled public meeting why such action should not be taken.
Any person not fully complying with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to pay a fine of not more than $500 payable to the Borough. Such fine and all other penalties may be recovered in the Cresskill Municipal Court upon issuance of summons by the Cresskill police returnable before the Cresskill Municipal Court and recoverable in the same manner as a fine imposed for a violation of the Cresskill Municipal Code.
The Borough shall not be liable for any defects in operation of any automatic dial alarms and alarm devices, or for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such a source, or for the failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals or prerecorded alarm messages or the relaying of such signals and messages, and, in the event that the Borough finds it necessary to disconnect any alarm for any reason, the Borough shall incur no liability by such action.
If the location of police headquarters should be changed at any time, the Borough shall not be responsible for any expense incurred by the subscriber as a result thereof.
The Borough shall assume no liability or responsibility to correct defects in any equipment maintained by New Jersey Bell Telephone Company or in any equipment installed on the subscriber's premises.
Copies of this chapter shall be provided to all persons making application for a connection of an alarm device or registration of a dial alarm or local alarm.
The Borough Clerk shall record all charges paid pursuant to this chapter and shall mail notices to persons who are more than 30 days in default of payment of any such charges.
The Borough reserves the right to change, modify or increase by ordinance the fees herein prescribed or the penalties herein prescribed.
The Mayor and Council may, from time to time, promulgate rules and regulation supplementing this chapter in order to provide for recordkeeping and efficient management of said system.