[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Washington 10-26-1995 by Ord. No. 26-1995 as Sec. 4-6A of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations concerning the operation and maintenance of certain alarm systems within the Township and to provide penalties upon conviction for violation of any of the provisions set forth herein.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases are defined as follows:
- ALARM SYSTEMS
- Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility, or for alerting about the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or for alerting others about the existence of any other condition requiring response of police, fire or ambulance personnel; and which emits and/or transmits an audible and/or visual signal or message when actuated. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to, direct dial telephone devices, audible alarms and subscriber alarms.
- AUDIBLE ALARMS
- A device that emits an audible signal from the premises that it is designated to protect.
- DIRECT DIAL ALARM
- A device which, when actuated, causes a recorded message to be transmitted, via telephone, to the Washington Township Police Communications Center, and/or the Gloucester County Communications Center, stating that emergency response is necessary.
- FALSE ALARM
- An alarm signal necessitating response by the Police or Fire Department where an emergency does not exist. An alarm which has been activated by an external source that is beyond the reasonable control of the subscriber shall not be considered false.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- Grenloch Fire Company, Whitman Square Fire Company, Hurffville Fire Company, i.e.; Washington Township Fire District #1.
- Washington Township Police Department.
- SUBSCRIBER ALARM
- An alarm system that is terminated by direct connection to the Washington Township Police Communications Center and/or Gloucester County Communications Center.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons that maintain alarm systems within the Township to provide current information to the Police or Fire Department, consisting of the names and telephone numbers of responsible persons who may be contacted in case of emergency, or who are authorized to provide service to the alarm system; either must be on a twenty-four-hour basis. This information is to be filed with the Police or Fire Department when the alarm system is initially placed into service and must be revised immediately whenever changes are necessary.
Audible alarms must be silenced within 30 minutes after a designated responsible person is notified to do so by the Police and/or Fire Department. The alarm system may be equipped with a timing device that will automatically silence the audible alarm within 30 minutes after it is actuated.
Direct dial alarms must be equipped with a device that will prevent more than three repeated transmissions of an alarm for the same emergency to the Washington Township Police Communications Center and/or Gloucester County Communications Center. Recorded messages must also include the name and telephone number of a responsible person who may be contacted by the Police or Fire Department in case of an emergency, on a twenty-four-hour basis.
It shall be the responsibility of all persons that maintain alarm systems within the Township to prevent the transmission of false alarms through a program of training and periodic inspection and maintenance of the system.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the general alerting alarms that may be used by fire companies, ambulance squads or civil defense agencies to summon response of their members. The provisions of the chapter shall not apply to alarm systems that are affixed to motor vehicles.
Any person who is found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the following penalties:
For the first and second false alarm in any thirty-day period, a warning shall be issued; for the third false alarm in the same thirty-day period, a fine of $50 shall be paid to the Township. For the fourth and subsequent false alarms, a fine of $100 shall be paid to the Township.
For each false alarm after the eighth in any one-year period a fine of $100 shall be paid to the Township.
In addition to any penalty that may be ordered by the court, the Chief of Police may authorize the disconnection of subscriber alarms from the Police Communications Center after giving written notice to the subscriber.
The provisions contained herein shall apply equally to those alarm systems that were placed in service prior to or subsequent to the effective dates of this chapter.