[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saratoga Springs 10-21-1991; amended in its entirety 11-18-2008. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City of Saratoga Springs by imposing regulations on the sale, installation and maintenance of burglar alarms, fire alarms and other emergency alarms and security systems in said City.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SUPPLIER
- Any person or legal entity who installs, maintains or otherwise prepares emergency alarms to be installed anywhere in the City of Saratoga Springs. The term "alarm supplier," as defined above, shall not apply to property owners or lessees within the City of Saratoga Springs who install and maintain their own systems, and such owners and lessees are exempt from the requirements of § 58-3 of this chapter, but are not exempt from any other section of this chapter unless specifically stated herein.
- ALARM USER
- Any person or legal entity who installs or seeks to install an emergency alarm upon premises under his or her control and located within the City of Saratoga Springs.
- EMERGENCY ALARM
- Any device designed to send a signal in any manner to the Fire Department and/or the Police Department of the City of Saratoga Springs, or to a facility responsible for monitoring such alarm system; any device designed to emit an audible or visual signal from the premises where the device is installed. The term "emergency alarm" shall not include any system used by any government agency or to any device installed in a motor vehicle as defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an emergency alarm under circumstances where it cannot be reasonably determined that any emergency or unauthorized entry has occurred or has been attempted. The term does not include:
- A. Activations caused by problems in telephone lines, acts of God, natural disasters or other causes reasonably determined to be beyond the control of the alarm user.
- B. Activations within 45 calendar days of the initial installation of the emergency alarm.
- C. Intentional false alarms that are punishable under the New York State Penal Law.
No alarm supplier shall do business within the City of Saratoga Springs without first filing a copy of his New York State license to engage in the business of installing security or fire alarm systems (as described in Article 6-D of the General Business Law) with the Department of Accounts. The Department of Accounts shall charge no fee for the filing of such license.
No person or legal entity shall install an emergency alarm upon premises under his or her control without first obtaining an emergency alarm permit from the Commissioner of Accounts. A one-time fee of $25 shall accompany the application. Each application shall contain a signed statement by the alarm user that the City shall not be responsible in any way for the operation of the alarm system, or for any failure to respond to a transmitted alarm or for entry upon the premises by City personnel in response to a transmitted alarm.
Violations of this chapter shall subject the alarm user to a penalty of not more than $250 per violation.
The City Council, subject to approval, shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing the operations, testing and maintenance of each alarm system.
Each and every emergency alarm system which is audible at the exterior of the premises of the alarm installation shall be installed with a timer which will discontinue the audible signal after a maximum time period of 15 minutes. This section shall not apply to any emergency alarm system which is prohibited by law from employing such a timer.
No emergency alarm of any type shall terminate, transmit to or call the emergency service number 911 or any emergency service number, except those numbers designated exclusively for the purpose.
The following fees in addition to the fees specified in § 58-4 shall be due from any emergency alarm user who transmits more than two false alarms within any period of 365 days, whether caused by human error or malfunction of equipment:
If any alarm user shall transmit more than 10 false alarms within a twelve-month period, the Commissioner of Public Safety may, in his or her discretion, either revoke that alarm user's permit or require that the alarm, if it has been thereto maintained by a property owner or lessee, be thereafter maintained by personnel of an alarm supplier licensed by the City pursuant to § 58-3.
Notice of additional fees due shall be sent to each alarm user by regular mail at the address specified in the permit application. The notice shall state the dates of each false alarm and the amount of additional fees due. It shall also state that payment of the additional fees shall be due 30 days from the date of the notice.
Both the Police Department of the City of Saratoga Springs and the City Fire Inspector shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to issue appearance tickets for violations thereof. Such authority shall be in addition to and not in limitation of any other authority or power conferred by law.
The City of Saratoga Springs shall not be liable for any defects in operation of emergency alarm systems, nor any failure to respond appropriately, nor for any erroneous response, nor for the failure or defect of any licensee pursuant to the provisions of this chapter 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.