Township of Lower Saucon, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower Saucon 1-6-1988 by Ord. No. 87-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 112.
This chapter may be known and cited as the "Lower Saucon Township Emergency Alarm System Ordinance No. 87-10."
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
ALARM EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER
Any person, firm or corporation, licensed to do business in the Township and registered with the Emergency Communication Center, who sells, leases and/or installs automatic protection devices.
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 station and which has the duty to relay immediately by live voice any such emergency message over a designated or direct trunk line to the Emergency Communication Center.
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 police to respond; excluding, however, self-contained interior smoke or heat detectors, as determined by the Police Department.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
An electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits a prerecorded voice alarm or other signal over a regular telephone line or radio transmission, by direct or indirect connection to the Emergency Communication Center, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of an intrusion, fire, medical or other emergency situation.
CENTRAL STATION PROTECTIVE SYSTEM
A protective system or group of such systems operated privately for customers by a person, firm or corporation which maintains supervisors and accepts recorded messages from automatic protection devices at a central station having trained operators and guards in attendance at all times and has the duty to take appropriate action upon receipt of a signal or message, including the relaying of messages by designated or direct trunk line to the Emergency Communication Center.
DESIGNATED TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the Emergency Communication Center that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages which originate from automatic protection devices and are transmitted directly to the Emergency Communication Center.
DIRECT TRUNK LINE
A nonlisted, directly connected telephone line leading from an intermediary to the Emergency Communication Center that is for the primary purpose of handling emergency messages on a person-to-person basis.
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION CENTER
The Township's Communication Center located on Old Philadelphia Pike, which handles all police and other emergency communications.
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 Emergency Communication Center, to which police, fire department or emergency squads respond, which is not the result of an attempted illegal entry, burglary, intrusion, fire, medical or other similar emergency, excluding weather extremes and utility interruptions, which activates a protection device.
INTERMEDIARY
A central station protective system or an answering service, as herein defined.
KEY
To use a telephone line and equipment for transmitting a message, either directly or indirectly, by an automatic protection device.
PERMIT
Written authorization duly granted to an applicant by the Township upon payment of the required fee.
[1]
PRIMARY TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the Emergency Communication Center that is for the purpose of handling emergency calls on a person-to-person basis, identified as an emergency number and listed in the telephone directory.
SECONDARY TRUNK LINE
A telephone line leading into the Emergency Communication Center that is for the purpose of handling administrative and other calls on a person-to-person basis and identified by a specific listing in the telephone directory.
SILENT ALARM
A protective system that does not emit an audible signal or tone when activated at a protected site and is monitored by an intermediary or emergency communication center.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Lower Saucon, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
A. 
Any person who desires to own, operate, lease or maintain an alarm system in the Township shall file a registration permit. This permit shall be obtained from the Township at Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 18015. The permit shall be completed and a copy shall be made available upon request or clearly posted at the protected site.
B. 
The Township shall issue a registration permit for the ownership, operation and maintenance of an alarm system to any person desiring to own, operate, lease or maintain an alarm system if the Police Department is satisfied that the registration information is complete and the alarm system in question is capable of being operated in conformance with this chapter. The permit may be granted subject to any special condition stated thereon, as deemed to be necessary by the Police Department. All applications for a permit will be reviewed by the Police Department. No new installations will be effected without first obtaining a permit.
C. 
All existing security systems in the Township shall obtain a registration permit. All required information will be provided, and any other requirements of this chapter will be adhered to.
D. 
A registration permit will automatically terminate upon change in occupancy or usage of the premises for which the permit was originally issued. A permit shall indicate that a new permit is required upon such changes in occupancy or usage.
E. 
Any permit granted hereunder shall be accepted upon the express condition that the registrant shall indemnify and hold the Township harmless from and on account of any and all damages arising out of the activities of the registrant, alarm contractor or supplier. A permit will include an acknowledgment of intent to comply with all provisions of this chapter and a comprehensive disclaimer for the Township in the event of any death, injury, property loss or any and all damages due to any equipment failure or failure on the part of the owner or lessee or any other liability that might be incurred because of the presence of such an alarm device, for which the owner or lessee shall place his legal cosignature. Owners or lessees of audible alarms or automatic protection devices installed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall, within 90 days of the effective date of this chapter, comply with this section.
F. 
A registration fee, as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, shall be charged for all security systems in existence at the time of ordinance adoption. This registration shall be obtained within 90 days of said enactment. All new system installations, which includes installation of a new control panel and sensors at existing alarm sites, shall be registered within 30 days prior to installation. The fee for such new system installations shall be as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, and shall apply to those installations registered and installed after the adoption date of this chapter. A late registration fee, as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, shall be charged to those individuals who are found owning and/or operating a security system without a registration permit after the enactment date of this chapter. Upon proof of the date of installation prior to the enactment date of this chapter, the late registration fee shall only be charged to those individuals upon the expiration of the 90 days' registration.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
A. 
Any alarm equipment supplier shall not do business within the Township without a proper business registration and license.
B. 
Registration shall be made at the Emergency Communication Center, setting forth the following information:
(1) 
The names and addresses of applicants;
(2) 
The telephone number;
(3) 
The nature of the business; and
(4) 
A description and license numbers of vehicles used for business.
C. 
Registration shall be updated immediately by the applicant if and when any of the stated information changes.
D. 
Upon registration and payment of an annual registration fee, as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, a business license shall be obtained from the Emergency Communication Center and shall be valid for the remainder of the calendar year. Subsequent annual fees for the renewal of a business license shall become due and payable in full on or before the fifth day of the month of January.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
E. 
All registrations and licenses must be obtained within 90 days of the adoption of this chapter.
[Amended 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
Prior to the date of activation for each new installation hereafter, every owner or lessee of an audible or silent alarm shall furnish to the Lower Saucon Township Police Department a current list of such installations, which shall include the following information:
A. 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner or lessee.
B. 
The name, address and telephone number of the resident where the device is installed.
C. 
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least two persons who are authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed, in addition to the owner or lessee, or, in the alternative, who would know the whereabouts and be able to contact the owner or lessee in the event of an emergency.
D. 
The name, address and telephone number of the system installer or repair service.
E. 
The type of system installed.
F. 
Other information required herein or deemed appropriate and necessary by the Police Department.
[Amended 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
A. 
Every alarm equipment supplier who has keyed an automatic protection device in the Township to an assigned trunk line shall furnish to the Lower Saucon Township Police Department a current list of such installations, which shall include the following:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner or lessee.
(2) 
The name, address and telephone number of the resident or occupant where the device is installed.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of a central station protective system or any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and/or gain access to the address where the device is installed.
(4) 
Where twenty-four-hour repair service is not available by the supplier, the name, address and telephone number of at least one other twenty-four-hour service, business or agent providing repair service within the Township.
B. 
By the fifth working day of each month following submission of the initial list, every alarm equipment supplier shall furnish the Emergency Communication Center with a supplemental list of any additional installations which have been keyed to an assigned trunk line, along with any correction to or deletion from the list previously furnished. An alarm equipment supplier who enters into the business after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish a list containing the information specified in Subsection A hereof by the fifth working day of the month following a first installation and shall thereafter furnish the supplemental list as required by this section.
C. 
Each alarm equipment supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the Township which is keyed to an assigned trunk line shall also furnish operating instructions, a circuit diagram and maintenance manual or instructions to the buyer or lessee.
All information furnished pursuant to this chapter shall be kept confidential and shall be for the use of the Emergency Communication Center.
A. 
Automatic protection devices installed after the effective date of this chapter shall be keyed to the trunk line assigned them by the Township.
B. 
All existing automatic protection devices that transmit recorded messages directly to the Emergency Communication Center shall be keyed to the trunk line assigned them by the Township.
[Amended 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
C. 
All owners or lessees of automatic protection devices that are keyed to a designated trunk line and transmit recorded messages directly to the Emergency Communication Center shall, prior to or upon being keyed to the designated trunk line, pay to the Township an initial fee, as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, for each month or partial month of the first calendar year of service and thereafter shall pay an annual fee, as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, for the benefits and advantages received through the direct monitoring of such systems. Such subsequent annual fee shall become due and payable in full on or before the fifth working day of the month of January.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
A. 
Any person who has an automatic protection device in the Township may arrange to have such device keyed to an intermediary authorized to relay emergency messages to the Emergency Communication Center.
B. 
The relay of messages by authorized intermediaries shall be over a direct trunk line assigned them by the Township.
[Amended 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
Owners or lessees shall equip audible alarms, other than fire alarms, with a timing mechanism that will disengage the audible alarm after a maximum period of 20 minutes. Exceptions shall be made for certified systems requiring longer-sounding alarms for insurance purposes, provided that certification and policy requirements are documented at the time of an alarm listing and maintained and, further, provided that these devices are equipped with timers to disengage the audible alarm after the minimum time required for certification. Audible alarms without such a timing mechanism, other than fire alarms, shall be unlawful in the Township and shall be disconnected by the owner or lessee.
Automatic protection devices installed in the Township that are keyed to an assigned trunk line in the Emergency Communication Center shall meet the following requirements.
A. 
Automatic protection devices which transmit or relay a recorded message shall be very specific as to the nature of the emergency. The recording shall state "this is an emergency, please stand by"; repeat three times, "this is a recorded message reporting the (burglary, robbing, duress, medical alert, whichever emergency is occurring or applicable) has been activated." The complete address and location must be given.
B. 
No more than one answered call shall be made over an assigned trunk line to the Emergency Communication Center as a result of a single activation of the automatic device.
C. 
The message portion may be repeated during one call, but the interval between each message shall be no less than three seconds nor more than five seconds.
D. 
The sensory mechanism used in connection with an automatic protection device shall be adjusted to suppress false indications of intrusion so that the device will not be activated by impulses due to short flashes of light, the rattling or vibrating of doors and windows or vibrations to the premises caused by the passing of vehicles, aircraft or any other force not related to alarms.
E. 
All components comprising such a device shall be maintained by the owner or lessee in good repair to assure maximum reliability of operation.
F. 
Upon notification by the Emergency Communication Center, the owner, lessee, person or company designated in § 53-5 or 53-6 shall promptly proceed to the address of the alarm and render necessary service. This service shall include, when required and if so authorized, the opening of the premises so that the building may be searched by police at the scene.
A. 
The status of an alarm is to be determined by the Police Department, and the decision shall be final.
B. 
Upon notification of a false alarm received by the Lower Saucon Police Department, a written report shall be made within 14 days by the owner or lessee to the Lower Saucon Police Department and shall contain what steps have been taken to eliminate future false alarms.
[Amended 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
C. 
In the event of third and subsequent false alarm activation at a site within any one semiannual calendar period beginning January 1 or July 1, the owner or lessee of said device shall be charged a fee for service from the Township. This fee shall be as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, for each occurrence of a false alarm activation during said period. The fifth and subsequent false alarm activation within the same semiannual period will necessitate a fee for service by the Township, as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law.[1]
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 93-3]
[1]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
D. 
If the owner or lessee provides to the Chief of Police, within five days of the third or subsequent false alarm activation in any one semiannual calendar period, proof of payment of a bill for an amount as set forth from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law, to have the alarm system checked and serviced, then as result of said activation, the service fee charges by the Township shall be reduced to an amount as set from time to time by resolution or ordinance, as may be required by law.[2]
[Amended 12-1-1993 by Ord. No. 93-3]
[2]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
A. 
Each alarm equipment supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the Township which is keyed to an assigned trunk line shall make service available directly or through an agent on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven days a week, to repair such device or to correct any malfunction that may occur. Such service shall be made available to any person using an automatic protection device at such user's election and expense.
B. 
At the time of installation, an alarm equipment 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 alarm equipment supplier or agent responsible for service. The buyer or lessee 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.
C. 
The owner, lessee or alarm equipment supplier shall notify the Emergency Communication Center and other appropriate departments, where applicable, prior to installing, repairing, servicing, altering, replacing or removing any automatic protection device or audible alarm. Upon completion of work, the owner, lessee or alarm equipment supplier or his representative shall notify the Emergency Communication Center that the alarm is back in service. An alarm sounded or received during this notification period will not constitute a false alarm.
When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operational requirements set forth herein are received by the Emergency Communication Center and the Chief of Police concludes that the automatic protection device sending such messages should be disconnected in order to relieve the particular division of responding to false alarms, he is authorized to demand that the owner or lessee of the device or a representative disconnect the device until it is made to comply with the operational requirements. If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished promptly and the Chief of Police determines that the malfunctioning device is repeatedly sending false alarms without intermittent valid alarms, he may take any steps necessary to disconnect the defective protection device.
Each audible alarm or automatic protection device shall be disconnected by the owner, lessee or authorized service representative, and the Emergency Communication Center shall be notified in writing, prior to or upon the effective date, that a protected business is discontinued or any residence or building is vacated; provided, however, that protection need not be interrupted as long as the various provisions and requirements of this chapter are and continue to be complied with.
[Amended 9-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-10; 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
This chapter shall be enforced by action brought before a District Justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person who violates or permits the violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense. Each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.