City of Rye, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Rye 5-4-1977 by L.L. No. 4-1977. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards and controls of the various types of fire, intrusion, holdup and other emergency signals from fire and police alarm devices that require Fire Department or police response, investigation or safeguarding of property at the location of an event reported by a signal which is transmitted by telephone or radio or which is otherwise relayed to the Police or Fire Department by an alarm device requiring investigation or other action by any person acting in response to a signal actuated by an alarm device, including such devices already in use within the City.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
ALARM AGENT
Any person who is employed by any business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity that is licensed hereunder to conduct the business of owning, operating, maintaining, installing, leasing or selling fire or police alarm devices, whose duties may include any of the following: selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing, in or on any building, place or premises, any fire or police alarm device as defined in this chapter, within the City of Rye.
ALARM INSTALLATION
Any fire or police alarm device or aggregation of fire or police alarm devices installed on or within a single building or on or within more than one building or area adjacently located on a common site, at a specific location.
BUSINESS LICENSES
Any business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity which is in the business of owning, operating, maintaining, installing, leasing or selling a fire or police alarm device or devices or systems of fire or police alarm devices, which business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity is, as owner, operator, provider of maintenance service, installer, lessor or seller of said device, devices or system of devices, subject to the license requirements of this chapter.
CENTRAL ALARM SYSTEM
Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of fire or police alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals and relay information about such validated signals to the Police or Fire Department when appropriate.
DIAL ALARM
Any fire or police alarm device which is a telephone device or telephone attachment that automatically or electronically selects a telephone line connected to a central alarm station and reproduces a prerecorded message to report a criminal act or other emergency requiring Police or Fire Department response.
[Amended 10-3-1990 by L.L. No. 16-1990]
DIRECT ALARM
Any fire or police alarm device connected directly by leased telephone wires from a specific location to Police Headquarters or Fire Department.
EMERGENCY ALARM
Any fire or police alarm device designed to be actuated by a fire, criminal act or other emergency at a specific location or by a victim of a holdup, robbery or other emergency or criminal act at a specific location.
FALSE EMERGENCY ALARM
Any signal actuated by an emergency alarm to which the police or Fire Department responds, which is not the result of a fire, holdup, robbery or other crime or emergency.
FIRE OR POLICE ALARM DEVICE
Any device which, when actuated by a fire, criminal act or other emergency requiring Police or Fire Department response, transmit a prerecorded message or other signal by telephone, radio or other means to a central alarm station or directly to the Police or Fire Department or produces an audible or visible signal designed to notify persons within audible or visible alarm range of the signal.
INTRUSION
Any entry into an area or building equipped with one or more police alarm devices by any person or object whose entry actuates a police alarm device.
LICENSING AUTHORITY
The City Clerk of the City of Rye.
POLICE HEADQUARTERS
Police Headquarters and other enclosures housing privately or publicly owned equipment serving the Police Department.
A. 
Unlawful to operate, maintain, install, lease or sell a fire or police alarm device without a license. It shall be unlawful for any person, business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity to operate, maintain, install, lease or sell a fire or police alarm device or devices or system of fire or police alarm devices, as defined by the terms of this chapter, without first obtaining a license as hereinafter provided.
B. 
Authority to grant licenses and permits.
(1) 
The licensing authority is hereby authorized to grant a revocable license, upon approval of the Commissioner of Police, to any business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity, authorizing said business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity to do business in the City of Rye by performing any or all of the following functions: to own, operate, maintain, install, lease or sell a fire or police alarm device or devices or system of fire or police alarm devices.
[Amended 10-14-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981]
(2) 
The licensing authority is hereby authorized to grant a revocable license, upon approval of the Commissioner of Police, to any alarm agent.
[Amended 10-14-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981]
(3) 
The licensing authority is hereby authorized to grant a revocable permit to any owner of property located within the City of Rye or the lessee thereof to operate, maintain, install and modify a fire or police alarm device.
(4) 
All presently existing fire or police alarm devices and systems of fire or police alarm devices and present owners and lessees of premises having such devices or systems must comply with all provisions of this chapter by July 1, 1977.
Applications for licenses and permits shall be made as follows:
A. 
All businesses, firms, corporations or other commercial entities which are in the business of owning, operating, maintaining, installing, leasing or selling a fire or police alarm device or system of fire or police alarm devices, who desire to conduct business in the City of Rye, shall apply to the licensing authority for a business license, on a form to be supplied by the licensing authority. The application shall contain specific provisions relating to the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the device or system of devices owned or to be operated, maintained, installed, leased or sold by the business licensee, testing procedures involved and any other information the licensing authority shall determine to be reasonably necessary to effectuate the purpose of this chapter. Such business license shall be issued for a one-year period, on a calendar year basis or part thereof, and no license shall extend beyond December 31 of each year. Notwithstanding this provision, a person having such business license may act as such business licensee through January 31 of the year following expiration of his license.
B. 
Any person who is to be an alarm agent in the City of Rye, before acting as such alarm agent, shall apply for and receive a revocable alarm agent license. The application shall be made to the licensing authority on a form to be supplied by the licensing authority. The application shall contain specific provisions relating to the fire or police alarm device or devices, holdup alarms, dial alarms or alarm installations which are to be sold, leased, installed, operated or maintained by the alarm agency, the skill and competency of the applicant as an alarm agency and such other information as the licensing authority determines to be reasonably necessary to effectuate the purpose of this chapter. Such license shall be issued for a one-year period, on a calendar year basis or part thereof, and no license shall extend beyond December 31 of each year. Notwithstanding this provision, a person having an alarm agent license may act as such alarm agent through January 31 of the year following expiration of his license.
C. 
Any property owner or lessee of property in the City of Rye having on its premises a fire or police alarm device or system or fire or police alarm devices shall apply to the licensing authority, on a form to be supplied by the licensing authority, for a permit to own or otherwise have such a device on his or its premises. The application shall contain provisions relating to the device or system of devices installed or to be installed on the premises. Application for permits for fire or police alarm devices existing in premises on the effective date of this chapter must be made to the licensing authority. No such devices may be installed on the premises of the owner or lessee, after the effective date of this chapter, prior to the licensing authority's having issued a permit to such owner or lessee, and no presently existing fire or police alarm device shall be modified, after the effective date of this chapter, prior to the licensing authority's having issued a permit to such owner or lessee. Such permit shall be obtained on an annual basis.
[Amended 11-15-1989 by L.L. No. 11-1989]
[Amended 12-4-1985 by L.L. No. 16-1985; 8-20-1986 by L.L. No. 12-1986]
License fees and use charges shall be as follows:
A. 
Business license: $100 per calendar year or part thereof, in addition to use charges, except those persons holding a valid alarm business license issued by the County of Westchester, for which this fee shall be $25.
B. 
Alarm agent license: $25 per calendar year or part thereof, except those persons holding a valid alarm business license issued by the County of Westchester, for which this fee shall be $10.
C. 
Owner or lessee permit: no charge, except use charge where applicable.
D. 
A fee of $15 per calendar year or part thereof is established for each signal directly connected to police headquarters or the Fire Department, which fee shall be paid by the business licensee to the City Comptroller during January of each year or during the first month of operation on new installations.
E. 
Any owner or lessee who maintains a burglar or fire alarm shall pay a fee of $30 per calendar year or part thereof to the City Comptroller during January of each year or during the first month of operation on new installations.
[Amended 11-15-1989 by L.L. No. 11-1989; 12-18-1996 by L.L. No. 12-1996; 12-20-2000 by L.L. No. 7-2000]
A license issued under this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the licensing authority, after notice and hearing by the licensing authority, for the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or of any regulation or regulations promulgated by the licensing authority pursuant to this chapter, and any license or identification card issued hereunder shall be surrendered immediately to the licensing authority upon suspension or revocation. No part of a license fee shall be refunded when a license is suspended or revoked. Any applicant whose application for a license or permit has been denied, or any business licensee, alarm agent, owner or lessee whose license has been suspended or revoked by the licensing authority, may appeal such denial, suspension or revocation in writing to the City Manager within 30 days after the date of denial or of the notice of suspension or revocation and may appear before such City Manager, at a time and place to be determined by the City Manager, in support of his or her or its contention that the license should not have been denied, suspended or revoked. The decision of the City Manager shall be final.
Every business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity conducting the business of owning, operating, installing, leasing or selling fire or police alarm devices within the City of Rye shall maintain complete and accurate records of all installations of alarm systems in the City of Rye and shall produce such records for inspection by the licensing authority upon demand.
A. 
Limitation. No fire or police alarm device shall be connected to or use any telephone line connected to Police Headquarters or the Fire Department except those lines authorized by the licensing authority. The owner and licensee of any such fire or police alarm device which is connected either directly or indirectly to Police Headquarters by a telephone line which has not been authorized for use for such purpose as aforesaid, on and after July 1, 1977, shall be in violation of this chapter and be subject to the penalty provisions hereof.
B. 
Intentional false alarm. It shall be a violation of this chapter to intentionally cause a false holdup alarm, and any person who does intentionally cause a false holdup alarm shall be subject to the penalty provisions hereof.
C. 
Emergency alarms and charges.
(1) 
Any owner or lessee of property having a fire or police alarm device or system of fire or police alarm devices on his or her premises on the effective date of this chapter, and any user of services or equipment furnished by a licensee under this chapter, shall pay to the City Comptroller a charge for each and every emergency alarm to which the Police or Fire Department responds, in each calendar year, as follows:
[Amended 12-16-1992 by L.L. No. 16-1992; 12-20-2000 by L.L. No. 7-2000; 12-18-2002 by L.L. No. 8-2002]
Number of Emergency
Alarms Each Year
Charge
First
No charge
Second
No charge
Third and fourth (each)
$100.00
Over 4 (each)
$200.00
(2) 
Such charges shall be paid to the City Comptroller upon demand by the City. The above charges shall be waived by the City Comptroller if it is established by the owner or lessee, to the reasonable satisfaction of the Commissioner of Police, that the alarm to which the Police or Fire Department responded was not a false emergency alarm, and the said Chief so certifies to the City Comptroller. The failure to pay any such charges shall subject the owner, lessee or user to the penalty provisions of this chapter and to revocation of the permit for such alarm device or devices.
[Amended 10-14-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981]
D. 
Installation and maintenance. The installation and maintenance of fire or police alarm devices permitted by this chapter, including the connection to Police Headquarters and Fire Department, shall be made at no cost to the City. The owner or lessee shall be responsible for the maintenance and service of his or its fire or police alarm equipment and shall be responsible for all malfunctions of his or its equipment.
E. 
Change of location. If the location of Police Headquarters should be changed at any time, the City shall not be responsible for any expense incurred by the owner or lessee or business licensee or alarm agent for moving alarm systems or reconnecting such systems to the relocated Police Headquarters or elsewhere.
F. 
Removal of unlawful equipment. In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the licensing authority, whenever it shall have knowledge of the use of any fire or police alarm device, cabinet or attachment or telephone terminal which is not operated or maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or which is contrary to regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter, and after notice and hearing by the licensing authority, may order the removal of the same from Police Headquarters, and it shall be unlawful to disobey such order.
G. 
Rules, regulations and enforcement. The licensing authority shall promulgate reasonable rules, regulations and standards, which shall be approved by the City Manager, that may reasonably be necessary for the purpose of assuring the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of fire or police alarm devices and alarm installations owned, operated, maintained, installed, leased or sold by a licensee under this chapter, and to facilitate the administration of this chapter. The licensing authority shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. The aforesaid rules, regulations and standards shall be set forth in writing and copies shall be available for applicants.
A. 
Central alarm station systems. The Commissioner of Police is hereby authorized to prescribe the location and the manner of installation of private or regular business telephone lines into Police Headquarters from a central alarm station for the express purpose of providing direct telephone communications between a central alarm station and Police Headquarters for use in reporting holdup alarms.
[Amended 10-14-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981]
B. 
Direct alarm systems. The Commissioner of Police is hereby authorized to prescribe the location and the manner of installation of all cabinets, accessories, connections and equipment of an approved direct alarm system within Police Headquarters or Fire Department for the purpose of providing a direct alarm system where the visible and audible signals therefrom may be readily seen and heard by police or fire personnel.
[Amended 10-14-1981 by L.L. No. 5-1981]
C. 
External alarms. Alarms which are designed to be heard outside of the building are prohibited, except any external alarm that is installed which shall be capable of and shall automatically terminate its operation within five minutes of being activated is permitted.
D. 
Internal alarms. Internal alarms must be regulated and maintained so that the sound therefrom will not cause a disturbance to the immediate neighbors. Any audible burglar alarm that is installed shall be capable of and shall automatically terminate its operation within 10 minutes of its being activated.
E. 
Exceptions. None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to a fire or police alarm device or devices installed in a motor vehicle or trailer, nor to employees of a public utility company engaged in the business of providing communication, services or facilities.
F. 
No person shall use or cause or permit to be used, any alarm device that automatically selects a telephone trunk line of the Police or Fire Department of the City of Rye and then reproduces any prerecorded voice messages to report any robbery, burglary or fire. The use of any dial alarm device which relays a digital coded signal to the central alarm monitoring facility is permitted under this chapter.
[Added 10-3-1990 by L.L. No. 16-1990]
Any person, firm or corporation who does not pay any charge or fee established in this chapter or who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not in excess of $250 for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs or is committed.