Village of Morrisville, NY
Madison County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Morrisville: Art. I, 4-9-1992 as L.L. No. 1-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-9-1992 as L.L. No. 1-1992]
This Article shall be known as the "Village of Morrisville Fire Alarm Nuisance Law."
It is the purpose of this Article to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village of Morrisville by reducing the number of avoidable alarms to emergency agencies. Avoidable alarms contribute to ineffective utilization of public safety manpower and equipment. In addition, avoidable alarms require emergency responses which may contribute to a high accident rate and delayed responses to genuine emergencies. This Article seeks to ensure that fire communications facilities will be available to dispatch fire personnel for actual emergencies and to alleviate the nuisance of audible alarms to the surrounding community. Another purpose of the Article is to contact responsible people to notify them of the activation of the alarm.
For the purpose of this Article, certain words and phrases shall be construed herein as set forth in this section, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended.
AUDIBLE ALARM
A device which generates an audible sound on the premises when it is actuated.
A. 
Shall include:
(1) 
The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner, user, custodian or lessee of an alarm system or his employees or agents or through any other cause which through direct connection to an emergency agency or which through notification of an emergency agency by a private answering point or automatic dialing device or which through notification of an emergency agency by any other second party or means indicates that an emergency situation exists requiring an emergency response within the Village of Morrisville when, in fact, an emergency situation does not exist.
(2) 
An "avoidable alarm" to an emergency agency when the activator knows that an emergency does not exist.
B. 
"Avoidable alarm" does not include alarms activated by violent conditions of nature, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or any other similar cause, beyond the control of the user of an alarm system. Activation of an alarm system under any circumstance in which the activator reasonably believes that an emergency situation exists is not an "avoidable alarm."
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER (CEO)
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Village of Morrisville.
DAY
Calendar day.
FIRE AND SMOKE DETECTION SYSTEM
Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of fire and smoke and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. "Fire and smoke detection systems" include but are not limited to direct-dial telephone devices and audible alarms. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility are not included within this definition nor are auxiliary devices installed by the telephone company or a cable television company to protect its systems which might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system.[1]
FIRE DISTRICT
The Morrisville Fire District.
NOTICE
Written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee or given by United States certified mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address. Service of such "notice" shall be effective upon the completion of personal service or upon the placing of the same in the custody of United States Postal Service.
PERSON
A natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
SUBSCRIBER
Any person who owns, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains a fire and smoke detection system. A person or entity may be both a "subscriber" and an alarm business.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
The New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Generally Accepted Standards (NYSUFPBC and GAS) prescribe minimum standards for the maintenance and installation of all fire and smoke detection systems.
A. 
Every subscriber maintaining an audible alarm shall post a notice containing the names and telephone numbers of the persons to be notified to render repairs or service and secure the premises during any hour of the day or night that the alarm is actuated. Such notice shall be posted near the alarm panel in such a position as to be legible from eye level. In lieu thereof, such person may maintain such information with the CEO and Fire District.
B. 
Fire Department officers may disable an activated alarm, and the Fire Department official shall not be liable for any damage that may result.
Every alarm installer or business engaged in maintenance and servicing of alarm systems shall be able to respond to the location of the alarm installation, as prescribed in NFPA Nos. 71, 72A, 72B, 72C, 72D and 72E.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a person who engages in the manufacture or sale of a fire and smoke detection system from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where the fire and smoke detection system is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the fire and smoke detection system in a specific location, nor shall the provisions of this chapter apply to audible alarms affixed to automobiles.
Any one (1) of the following shall constitute grounds for a nuisance alarm system violation:
A. 
Where the fire and smoke detection system actuates excessive avoidable alarms and thereby constitutes a public nuisance, which shall be deemed to be three (3) avoidable alarms in any one-hundred-eighty-day period.
B. 
A person has failed to keep his alarm system in good repair.
C. 
A person has failed to notify the Fire District, Madison County Fire Dispatcher and any party who would receive direct communication of an alarm prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance, adjustment, alteration or installation which might actuate an avoidable alarm. For the purposes of these standards and regulations, any alarm actuated where such prior notice has been given shall not constitute an avoidable alarm.
No person shall maintain or operate an alarm system which actuates an avoidable alarm three (3) times within a one-hundred-eighty-day period from any separate structure or, in the case of multiple tenants, from a separate occupancy containing a separate alarm system.
A. 
After responding to an alarm that is determined to be an avoidable alarm, the Fire Department shall file a report of the same with the CEO.
B. 
The CEO shall notify, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the person responsible for the alleged violation on the first and second such incident occurring within one hundred eighty (180) days; such notice shall advise that, upon such person's written demand, received by the CEO within ten (10) days of the postmarked date of the notice, the CEO will schedule a hearing to determine if a violation has occurred.
(1) 
If no demand is received within the time fixed, it will be deemed a violation.
(2) 
If a demand is timely received, the CEO will schedule and hold a hearing, giving all parties an opportunity to be heard. Within five (5) days of the completion of the hearing, the CEO shall make a final determination and advise the parties in writing.
C. 
Such final determination of the CEO may be appealed pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
D. 
On a third or subsequent incident within one hundred eighty (180) days, the CEO will serve an appearance ticket returnable in Village Court upon the person responsible, after the responding Fire Department has filed the necessary affidavits and information. Such service shall be made by personal delivery of the appearance ticket or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Persons guilty of a third or subsequent avoidable alarm within one hundred eighty (180) days shall be subject to a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) or imprisonment not exceeding fifteen (15) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I.
A. 
All information on applications pertaining to avoidable alarms shall not be deemed confidential insofar as it is necessary to conduct any litigation under this Article or to be provided to appropriate officials for fire protection purposes.
B. 
The CEO shall retain all records regarding applications, avoidable alarm reports, investigations and other data necessary for compliance with this Article.