[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt 4-17-1990 by L.L. No. 5-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 197.
The Town of Cortlandt recognizes the need to regulate the installation, maintenance and use of emergency alarm systems designed to require Police Department and Fire Department response, investigation and safeguarding of property at the location of an event reported by such signal. Such regulation will protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Cortlandt. It is the further intent of this chapter to reduce in number false alarms and to encourage the use and proper maintenance of reliable emergency signal systems.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
- ALARM LICENSE
- The written authorization of the County of Westchester granted to any person to engage in the business of installing and/or servicing police or fire alarm devices in the County of Westchester, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 863, Article XV, of the Laws of Westchester County.
- ALARM LICENSEE
- Any person, business, firm, corporation or other commercial entity which is in the business of owning, operating, maintaining, installing, leasing or selling a police or fire alarm device or devices, which person, 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, licensed pursuant to the requirements of Chapter 863, Article XV, of the Laws of Westchester County.
- ALARM PERMIT
- The written authorization of the Town of Cortlandt granted to any person, business, firm, corporation or other entity to install, maintain or cause to be installed or maintained in his place of residence or business any police or fire alarm device, devices or system or police or fire alarm devices.
- CENTRAL ALARM STATION
- Any facility operated by a private firm that owns or leases a system of police or fire alarm devices, which facility is manned by operators who receive, record or validate alarm signals to the Police Department or Fire Department when appropriate.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal actuated by a police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices which is not the result of natural disaster, act of God, criminal act, fire or other emergency requiring police or fire response. The term "false alarm" shall include human error and equipment malfunction causing the alarm to be activated and which results in police or fire response.
- LICENSING AUTHORITY
- The Department of Code Enforcement.
- POLICE OR FIRE ALARM DEVICE
- Any device which, when activated by a criminal act, fire or other emergency, transmits a prerecorded message or other signal by telephone, radio, central alarm station or audible or visible signal designed to cause any person within audible or visual range to notify the Police Department or Fire Department, requiring their respective emergency response.
- SMOKE AND/OR HEAT DETECTOR
- Any device which, when activated by a fire or smoke or other emergency, is designed to alert only the occupants of the building in which the smoke and/or heat detectors are installed of said emergency.
No person shall install, cause to be installed, maintain or cause to be maintained in a structure, building or establishment in the Town of Cortlandt, an external audible police or fire alarm device which does not also contain an automatic cutoff system or feature automatically cutting off the source of power to the alarm device after it has sounded for a period of no longer than 15 minutes.
Alarm license required. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to engage in the business of installing and/or servicing any police or fire alarm device without having obtained an alarm business license or alarm agent license from the County of Westchester licensing authority pursuant to Chapter 863, Article XV, of the Law of Westchester County.
Alarm permit required. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any owner or lessee of any police or fire alarm device to install, maintain or cause to be installed or maintained in his or her place of residence or business a police or fire alarm device without having obtained an alarm permit from the Director of Code Enforcement No alarm permit shall be issued by the Director of Code Enforcement unless the proposed installer of the police or fire alarm device is an alarm licensee and unless the police or fire alarm device or devices proposed to be installed or maintained conform to the requirements of this chapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing, where an applicant applies for an alarm permit for a police or fire alarm device installed prior to the effective date of this chapter, said application shall not be denied solely on the basis of the fact that said device was not installed by an alarm licensee. The application permit shall remain in effect during the occupancy of the property by the applicant A change in ownership of property shall require a new application for an alarm permit.
All applications for alarm permits shall be submitted to the Code Enforcement Department on a form to be supplied by it Said application shall include a description of the police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices installed, maintained or to be installed and such other information as shall be required by the Code Enforcement Department.
[Amended 8-17-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993]
The initial fee for an alarm permit shall be as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time.
Under no circumstances shall the cost of any police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices, including any connections to the Police Department or Fire Department and the maintenance of the same, be charged to the town, the Police Department or the Fire Department The owner or lessee of such police or fire alarm devices shall be solely responsible for the service of his or her police or fire alarm devices and/or correcting any malfunction of the same that may occur. If the location of the Police Department or Fire Department should be changed, the town shall not be held responsible for any expense incurred by the owner or lessee of such police or fire alarm devices for moving or reconnecting to the relocated Police Department or Fire Department. Direct connection to the fire district fire alarm lines shall be regulated by the Fire Commissioners of each district.
[Amended 2-11-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992]
The Police and Fire Departments having jurisdiction in the Town of Cortlandt shall transmit a report of any false alarm to the Director of Code Enforcement within 24 hours of the incident A record of these incidents shall be kept by the Director of Code Enforcement for each property; totals shall also be kept on an annual basis.
Upon his receipt of a report of a false alarm, the Director of Code Enforcement will review the facts of the occurrence and make a determination as to whether it was a false alarm. The Director of Code Enforcement will give written notice to the property owner if the alarm is determined to be a false alarm.
The following shall be the civil penalties to be imposed with respect to false alarms within the Town:
[Amended 5-16-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006]
Residential properties: A civil penalty shall be imposed by the Director of Code Enforcement for any false alarms occurring within a six-month period in accordance with the following schedule:
Number of False Alarms
4 or more
Commercial properties: A civil penalty shall be imposed by the Director of Code Enforcement for any false alarm occurring with respect to a commercial property within a calendar year in accordance with the following schedule:
Number of False Alarms
3 or more
Said civil penalty shall be paid within 20 days of the owner's receipt of a Notice of Determination from the Director of Code Enforcement. A failure to pay said penalty as provided for herein shall be deemed a violation of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of § 113-12 of this chapter.
Upon an owner's receipt of a notice of determination, the owner shall have the right to appeal the determination of the Director of Code Enforcement. In order to appeal, the owner shall file with the Director of Code Enforcement a written notice stating that the owner wishes to appeal, and said notice shall be filed within 20 days following the owner's receipt of the Director's determination. Pending the appeal, the payment of the civil penalty is automatically stayed.
The Alarm Appeals Board appointed by the Town Board shall conduct a hearing upon 10 days' notice to all parties with respect to any notice of appeal filed herein. At the hearing, the Director of Code Enforcement will present such evidence as available to show that the alarm was false. The owner will be afforded the opportunity to present evidence and call witnesses. The Director must prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence presented.
The Town Board, on an annual basis, shall designate an Alarm Appeals Board, which, upon filing its oath with the Town Clerk, shall hold and conduct hearings as required. The Board shall be comprised of the Town Engineer or his designee, the Chairman of the Fire Advisory Board, a representative of the community, as well as a representative of the alarm industry, which member shall not have a vote and shall serve in an advisory capacity only.
Should more than four false alarms occur in a six-month period for residential properties and a one-year period for commercial properties within any given calendar year, the Town Board, following a hearing at which such owner or lessee may be present and present evidence, may revoke the alarm permit of the owner or lessee of such premises and order said owner or lessee to disconnect or dismantle, or otherwise remove from the Police Department or Fire Department and/or central alarm station or system of Police or Fire, alarm devices causing such false alarms, at no expense to the Town. Failure by such owner or lessee to comply with said order within 10 days of its issuance, shall be deemed to be a violation of this chapter.
[Amended 5-16-2006 by L.L. No. 3-2006]
The Director of Code Enforcement is hereby authorized in grant revocable alarm permits pursuant to the rules and regulations promulgated by the Town of Cortlandt or its duly authorized representative.
All police and fire alarm permit fees and false alarm charges shall be collected by the Director of Code Enforcement.
It shall be the duty of the Director of Code Enforcement to maintain a record of alarm permits issued and to make a monthly report of the same to the Town Board, Police Chief and Fire Department having jurisdiction.
In order to implement the orderly institution of all the requirements of this chapter, the owners or lessees of any police or fire alarm device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices currently in use and required under the provisions of this chapter to obtain an alarm permit shall obtain said alarm permit no later than 60 days from the effective date of this chapter. Any police or fire alarm device, devices or systems of police or fire alarm devices currently in use which would be prohibited under the provisions of this chapter must be removed no later than 60 days from the effective date.
None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to police or fire alarm devices installed in town-operated buildings, Fire Department-owned buildings, motor vehicles or trailers or to smoke and/or heat detectors.
The Town of Cortlandt shall take every reasonable precaution that alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages received by the town are given appropriate and immediate attention.
Nevertheless, the town shall not be liable for any defects in operation of any police or fire device, devices or system of police or fire alarm devices or alarm systems, for any failure to respond appropriately on any alarm signal or for the transmission of alarm signals or messages or the relaying of such signals or messages. In the event that the town orders the disconnection or removal of a police or fire alarm device or system of police or fire alarm devices pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the town shall incur no liability therefrom.
[Amended 8-17-1993 by L.L. No. 2-1993]
Any person, business, firm, corporation or other entity who or which does not pay any fee or charge established in this chapter or who or which violates any provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and punished by a fine not to exceed $250 or up to 15 days in jail or by a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs or is committed.
[Added 9-19-1995 by L.L. No. 7-1995]
Purpose; findings; authorization. Experience shows that when fire occurs in buildings, the Fire Department is faced with entry into the structure, locating, confining, controlling and extinguishment. Entry into the structure, in some cases, must be made by force, which is time-consuming and demands extra energy to be exerted by fire-fighting personnel. In order to expedite entry into the structure and to aid the Fire Department in the task of extinguishment, the requirements shall be considered authorized by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt in accordance with the alarm users permit section.
All commercial occupancies served by an internal automatic fire alarm or suppression system shall have a rapid-entry key lock box installed.
The key lock box shall be located at or near the recognized public entrance. The key lock box shall be located at a height of not less than eight feet and not more than 12 feet above final grade.
No steps, displays, signs or other fixtures or structural protrusions shall be located under the key lock box which would allow intruders to access the box without assistance.
The key lock box shall be connected to the structure's alarm system. The wiring connection of the key lock box shall be supervised to provide a supervisory alarm signal to the central station in the event that the key lock box is opened or removed from the wall.
The key lock box shall contain the keys for the following, and the keys shall be labeled so as to be easily identified in the field:
The main entrance door. Mixed occupancies and strip shopping centers' keys shall be provided only for occupancies where system control valves or a fire alarm system panel exists.
The alarm room (if one exists).
Mechanical rooms and sprinkler control rooms.
The fire alarm control panel.
Resetting of pull-stations or other fire-protection devices.
Other rooms as specified during the plans review process or as required during a fire inspection.
There shall be minimum requirements for the key lock box as outlined below.
The lock shall be a MEDICO Biaxial Level 7 or equivalent.
Key vaults shall have the ability to be master keyed.
Locks shall be designed for high resistance to drilling, picking, punching or pulling.
Lock code and key section shall be unconditionally restricted by the manufacturer for use by the Buchanan, Continental Village, Croton, Montrose, Peekskill, Lake Mohegan and Verplanck Fire Departments.
Locks shall be listed under U.L. 437, the standard for safety key locks.
Rapid-entry systems shall offer key vaults under U.L. 1610, the standard for central station alarm units for use with U.L.-listed alarm systems.
Rapid-entry systems shall offer key vaults under U.L. 1037, the standard for antitheft alarms and devices.
Official Underwriters Laboratories listing cards shall be supplied upon request.
A fully inserted key shall withstand a minimum of fifty-inch pounds torque.
Key vaults shall have weatherproof gasket seals of neoprene material or better around openings.
Key vaults shall have covered lock openings constructed of heavy-gauge steel designed to resist vandalism.
Key vaults shall have a minimum wall thickness of 1/4 inch and a door thickness of one-half-inch plate steel.
Cabinet-style vaults for document storage shall have a minimum wall and door thickness of one-eighth-inch plate steel with an additional drill-resistant hard plate to protect the lock mechanism.
Cabinet-style vaults for document storage shall be available with two separate locks. The key to either lock shall open the vault.
The Town of Cortlandt Code Enforcement shall be in complete control of rapid-entry system authorization and operation.
The rapid-entry system shall utilize approved signature(s) from the Town of Cortlandt Code Enforcement and the Chief of the Fire Department whose Fire Department covers the structure. There must be two signatures on the order form to the manufacturer. One from Code Enforcement and the other from the Fire Department. In the event that the Fire Chief is not able to sign the order form, he may designate up to two alternates for the Fire Department's approval of the order form.
The manufacturer at its factory shall maintain U.L.-listed fireproof cabinets to protect the original records of the order forms and related records.
The factory records shall include installation locations, receiving party signature, Fire Department and Code Enforcement authorized signatures and the original order form.
Order records shall be available upon request for inspection by the Town of Cortlandt Code Enforcement or the Buchanan, Continental Village, Croton, Montrose, Peekskill, Lake Mohegan and Verplanck Fire Departments.
The Town of Cortlandt Code Enforcement or the Buchanan, Continental Village, Croton, Montrose, Peekskill, Lake Mohegan and Verplanck Fire Departments shall not be required to purchase or sell rapid-entry system products.
The Buchanan, Continental Village, Croton, Montrose, Peekskill, Lake Mohegan and Verplanck Fire Departments shall each have separate master keys for their Fire Departments so each master key will be unique to each Department. The Town of Cortlandt Code Enforcement shall have a set of master keys for each Fire Department so they can place keys and/or documents in the rapid-entry system boxes.
Emergency response repository container units (lock box).
General requirements. The owner or operator of any facility which is required to prepare or have available a Material Safety Data Sheet or an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form under Subtitle B, Sections 311 and 312, of Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA Title III) shall provide a repository container (lock box) at the facility site as set forth below.
The information contained in the repository (lock box) shall include the following information for emergency response personnel:
A current list of the key facility personnel knowledgeable about safety procedures of the materials on site, complete with the telephone numbers for each such person in the event of an incident after normal hours of the facilities operation.
A current emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form and a binder containing the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or, in the event that the volume of MSDS sheets is too great to keep practically in the repository container, the location of the on-site MSDS sheets, and the MSDS sheets shall be readily available for use by emergency response personnel.
A facility site plan which shall include the following:
The location of storage and use of hazardous materials on site.
The location of on-site emergency fire-fighting and spill cleanup equipment.
A diagram of the complete sewer system and water system showing fire hydrant and water main locations and sizes.
Any building floor plan deemed necessary by the Code Enforcement and Fire Department official.
All keying shall be in accordance with the above requirements of the minimum standards for key lock boxes.