Borough of West Chester, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester 11-14-1985 by Ord. No. 13-1979.[1] ) Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: (Section 2000.1 of Ord. No. 13-1979 stated that said ordinance shall become effective 1-1-1980.
This chapter shall be known as the "Borough of West Chester Automatic Protection Device Ordinance."
The following definitions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
ANSWERING SERVICE
A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic protection devices reporting an emergency at a stated location, which employees have the duty to relay immediately by live voice only such emergency message over a designated or primary trunk line to the Borough of West Chester police radio network.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
AUDIBLE ALARM
Any device, bell, horn or siren which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring the Police or Fire Departments to respond.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
An electrically or battery-operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits any form of alarm or signal, including but not limited to a prerecorded voice alarm, from the premises to the Borough of West Chester police radio network upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of intrusion.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE SUPPLIER
Any person, firm or corporation who sells or leases and/or installs automatic protection devices.
BOROUGH
The Borough of West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
A protective system, or group of such systems, operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which maintains, supervises and accepts recorded messages from automatic protection devices at a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times that have the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages by designated or primary trunkline to the Borough of West Chester police radio network.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The head or acting head of the Police Department of the Borough of West Chester.
DESIGNATED TRUNKLINE
A telephone line leading into the Borough of West Chester police radio network that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages which originate from automatic protection devices and are transmitted directly or indirectly through an intermediary.
FALSE ALARM
Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given to the Police or Fire Departments to which the Police Department or the Fire Department is intended to respond, which is not the result of a burglary, robbery, fire or similar emergency.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
FIRE CHIEF
The head or acting head of the Fire Department of the Borough of West Chester.
[Added 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 5-1989]
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or an answering service, as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone or recording equipment to transmit a message either directly or indirectly by an automatic protection device.
PRIMARY TRUNKLINE
A telephone line leading into the Borough of West Chester police radio network that is for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person-to-person basis, which line is identified by a specific listing among the white pages in the telephone directory issued by Bell of Pennsylvania or such other telephone directory as is issued to the general public within the Borough of West Chester.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
A. 
Automatic protection devices with audible alarms on location may be installed in borough residences and business establishments so long as they are registered and comply with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Automatic protection devices must be equipped with a timing device which will disconnect the audible alarm after a maximum period of fifteen (15) minutes. Audible alarms without such devices are prohibited in the borough and must be modified to include the timing device or disconnected by the owner or lessee within sixty (60) days from the effective date of this chapter.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 5-1989[1]]
A. 
No automatic protection device installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be keyed to a primary trunkline, and, within sixty (60) days from the effective date of this chapter, existing automatic protection devices in the borough shall be disconnected from primary trunklines. However, automatic protection devices disconnected as provided herein may be keyed to a designated trunkline.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided for the repeal of Subsection A and the redesignation of Subsection B as Subsection A.
A. 
Any person who has an automatic protection device in the borough may arrange to have such device keyed to an intermediary authorized to relay emergency messages to the Borough of West Chester police radio network.
B. 
The relay of messages by authorized intermediaries shall be over a designated trunkline.
C. 
Automatic protection devices keyed to an authorized intermediary may also be keyed to another telephone which the owner or lessee of the automatic protection device has available to himself or his representative at some other location.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
A. 
Within ninety (90) days from the effective date of this chapter, each automatic protection device supplier who has installed an automatic protection device in the borough shall furnish to the Chief of Police and Fire Chief a current list of such installations, which list shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner or lessee.
(2) 
The name and address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of any central station protective system or any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed.
(4) 
The name and telephone number of any person, firm or corporation, if any, other than the automatic protection device supplier, who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the automatic protection device.
B. 
By the fifth working day of each month following the submission of the initial list, each automatic protection device supplier shall furnish the Chief of Police and Fire Chief with a supplemental list of any additions, corrections or deletions from lists previously furnished. An automatic protection device supplier who enters into the business after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish a list containing the information specified in Subsection A by the fifth working day of the month following a first installation and shall thereafter furnish supplemental lists as required by this subsection.
C. 
All information furnished pursuant to this section shall be kept confidential and shall be for the use of the borough.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
Each automatic protection device installed in the Borough of West Chester shall be registered with the Police Department of the Borough of West Chester. The registration shall contain the information set forth in § 38-6A hereof, together with such other information as the Police Department deems necessary for the administration of this chapter. In addition, no automatic protection device shall be installed in the Borough of West Chester without first obtaining a permit from the Building Department of the Borough of West Chester.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989; 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
Fees for the registration and renewal of registration for an automatic protection device shall be computed in accordance with the fee schedule approved and adopted by Council of the Borough of West Chester, which schedule shall be available for public inspection at the Department of Building and Housing.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
Automatic protection devices installed in the borough shall meet the following requirements:
A. 
The type and content of recorded messages must be intelligible and in a format approved, prior to the installation, by the Chief of Police or Fire Chief.
B. 
No more than one (1) call shall be made over the police or fire radio network as a result of a single activation of the automatic protection device.
C. 
The time for transmitting each recorded message shall not exceed fifteen (15) seconds.
D. 
Recorded messages may be repeated during the one (1) call, but the interval between each recorded message shall be no less than four (4) seconds.
E. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an automatic protection device must be adjusted to suppress false indications of intrusion or fire, so that the device will not be actuated by impulses due to fleeting pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrations of doors and windows, vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles or any other force not related to genuine alarms.
F. 
All components comprising such a device must be maintained by the owner or lessee in good repair to assure maximum reliability of operation.
Each automatic protection device supplier who sells or leases an alarm in the borough after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish operating instructions and a maintenance manual to the buyer or lessee.
A. 
The public safety requires that the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning automatic protection devices be kept to a minimum so as to reduce unnecessary calls to the Police Department or Fire Department and to increase the effectiveness of properly functioning automatic protection devices. In order to enforce this chapter and to reduce the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning automatic protection devices, it is necessary that appropriate borough officials have the right to inspect the installation and operation of any automatic protection device installed in the borough.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
B. 
Application for a permit for the installation of an automatic protection device and subsequent installation of such a device pursuant to a permit issued or the continuance of the installation of any automatic protection device already installed at the effective date of this chapter shall constitute consent by the owner or lessee thereof and authorization for the inspection of any such installation and/or operation of any such automatic protection device by the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Borough Zoning Officer, Borough Building Inspector or any other designated agent of the borough.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
C. 
All such entries upon the premises upon which an automatic protection device is installed and all such inspections of the installation and operation of automatic protection devices shall be at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, except in emergency situations.
Automatic protection devices, suppliers and installers must conform to the requirements contained in the National Electrical Code as they pertain to installations, inspections and testing of such devices.
A. 
Each automatic protection device supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the borough shall make service available directly or through an agent on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven (7) days a week, to repair such devices and to correct malfunctions as they occur. Such service shall be made available to any person using an automatic protection device at such user's expense. Any person using an automatic protection device shall make arrangements for service to be available to such device on a twenty-four-hour-per-day, seven-day-per-week basis.
B. 
At the time of installation, an automatic protection device supplier shall furnish to any buyer or lessee using a repair service written information as to how service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number of the automatic protection device supplier or agent responsible for service. The buyer or lessee and the automatic protection device supplier or agent supplying a service shall be responsible for having the device disconnected or repaired as quickly as possible after notice that the automatic protection device is not functioning properly.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operational requirements as set forth in this chapter are received by the borough and the borough concludes that the automatic protection device sending such messages should be disconnected in order to relieve the Borough Police Department and Fire Department of the burden of responding to false alarms, the borough may require that the owner or lessee of the device, or his representative, disconnect the device until it is made to comply with said operational requirements. If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished promptly and the borough determines that the malfunctioning device is repeatedly sending false alarms without any intermittent valid alarms, the borough may then take any action necessary to terminate the receiving of alarms.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of an automatic protection device without first notifying the shift supervisor of the Borough of West Chester police radio network, unless the device is keyed through an intermediary, in which case no such notification is necessary unless the alarm or signal is to be relayed to the Police Department or Fire Department.
Automatic protection device suppliers and installers shall furnish at their own expense, at or prior to the time of contracting, a copy of this chapter to owners, lessees or users of the equipment or services to be supplied.
A. 
Consent to pay costs; schedule of costs.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989; 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
(1) 
For the purpose of defraying the costs to the borough of responding to a false alarm, the owner or lessee of an automatic protection device, persons using the services of intermediaries, users of audible alarms and users of any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the police or fire communications centers, except persons using the two-way live voice communication by telephone, shall, as a condition to installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, execute a consent in such form as may be prescribed by the borough that such owner, lessee or user shall pay the borough for all false alarms following the first one, according to the following schedule for each false alarm originating from the owner's premises that has not been activated by some force of nature or means beyond the owner's, lessee's or user's control:
(a) 
Schedule 1: Police Alarms.
[Amended 1-19-2011 by Ord. No. 3-2011]
[1] 
First false alarm per calendar year: warning.
[2] 
Second false alarm per calendar year: $50.
[3] 
Third false alarm per calendar year: $100.
[4] 
Fourth false alarm per calendar year: $100.
[5] 
Fifth false alarm per calendar year: $250.
(b) 
Schedule 2: Fire Alarms.
[Amended 1-19-2011 by Ord. No. 3-2011]
[1] 
First and second false alarm per calendar year: warning.
[2] 
Third and subsequent false alarm per calendar year: $300.
(2) 
The Borough Manager, Fire Chief, any member of the Police Department, Code Enforcement Officers, Finance Director and the IT Director/Chief Dispatcher may enforce the costs specified in § 38-17A(1) above in accordance with this § 38-17A(2). Any person who fails to pay the costs imposed in § 38-17A(1) above shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be subject to the payment of a fine in the amount of the cost imposed above, plus the costs of prosecution. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period of not more than 30 days.
[Amended 11-19-2008 by Ord. No. 17-2008]
B. 
Failure to comply. Any such owner, lessee or user who fails to execute the consent described in Subsection A within ninety (90) days from the effective date of this chapter shall, within the ninety-day period, disconnect the alarm, automatic protection device or any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the police or fire communications centers and shall discontinue using the services of any intermediaries.
C. 
Any owner, lessee or user of an automatic protection device may revoke or refuse to consent as set forth in Subsection A above only by disconnecting the automatic protection device. With respect to such devices installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user can refuse or revoke the aforesaid consent by disconnecting such automatic protection device within ninety (90) days from the effective date of this chapter.
D. 
Any police officer or fireman responding to an alarm which is determined to be false shall notify the person in whose name the alarm is registered of the false alarm.
[Amended 10-11-1989 by Ord. No. 25-1989]
[Amended 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989]
A. 
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, except § 38-17A, shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought before the District Justice, be guilty of a summary criminal offense and shall be subject to the payment of a fine in an amount not more than $1,000, plus the costs of prosecution. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a period of not more than 30 days. Each section or provision of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense and each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist shall constitute a separate offense, each of which violations shall be punishable by a separate fine imposed by the District Justice of not more than $1,000 plus the costs of prosecution, and upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the county prison for a term of not more than 30 days.
[Amended 11-19-2008 by Ord. No. 17-2008]
B. 
Any person found guilty of misuse, false activation or continual accidental activation of an automatic protection device shall be liable for a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.), plus the costs of prosecution, for each and every such activation. Such fine and costs shall be collectible before any District Justice as like fines and penalties are now by law collectible.