[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Henrietta 10-3-2001 by L.L. No. 5-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Fire Alarm Permit Law."
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Henrietta 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 chapter 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 chapter is to contact responsible people to notify them of the activation of the alarm. This chapter also requires registration of alarm businesses and subscribers for the purpose of permitting the Town to communicate with them regarding the administration of this chapter.
For the purpose of this chapter, 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:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- The business by any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any fire alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any fire alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- ALARM SYSTEM INSTALLER
- Any person whose duties include installing, maintaining, repairing, altering, servicing or replacing a fire alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.
- A person who perfects an appeal pursuant to this chapter.
- A person, firm or corporation who or which files an application for a new or renewal permit as provided in this chapter.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- A device which generates an audible sound on the premises when it is actuated.
- AVOIDABLE ALARM
- 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 to an emergency agency by any other second party or means, indicates that an emergency situation exists requiring an emergency response within the Town of Henrietta when, in fact, an emergency situation does not exist. An avoidable alarm also includes the knowing or intentional activation of an alarm to an emergency agency when the activator knows that an emergency does not exist. 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.
- Calendar day.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- Any mechanical or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of fire and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. Fire alarm systems include but are not limited to direct dial telephone devices, audible alarms and proprietor 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.
- FIRE DISTRICT
- The Henrietta Fire District.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- The Fire Marshal/Building Inspector of the Town of Henrietta
or his deputy.[Amended 2-18-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
- Written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee or given by United States 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 the United States Postal Service.
- A natural person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
- Any person who owns, leases, contracts for or otherwise obtains a fire alarm system. A person or entity may be both a subscriber and an alarm business.
- The Town of Henrietta.
Editor's Note: The definition of "permittee," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 2-28-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015.
Exemption. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a person who engages in the manufacture or sale of a fire alarm system from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where the fire alarm system is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the fire alarm system in a specific location.
The Fire Marshal may prescribe minimum standards and regulations for the construction and maintenance of all fire alarm systems installed within the Town. These standards and regulations shall become effective upon adoption thereof by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Henrietta. All devices shall meet or exceed such standards and regulations before permits may be issued pursuant to this chapter. The Fire Marshal may require inspection and approval of all alarm systems installed within the Town. The Fire Marshal may prescribe a certification form to be completed by permittees certifying that a fire alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee and the fire alarm system conforms to said minimum standards. Installation shall comply with NFPA 72 or other applicable generally accepted standard in effect at the time of installation.
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 in such a position as to be legible from the ground level adjacent to the building where the alarm system is located. In lieu thereof, such person may maintain such information with the Fire Marshal and Fire District.
Fire District officers or any peace officer may disable an activated alarm, and neither the Fire District nor such official shall be liable for any damage that may result.
No person shall possess or use a fire alarm system without first applying for and receiving a fire alarm permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 2-18-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
Such fire alarm permit shall be kept on the premises where the alarm system is located. The Fire Marshal may issue an appropriate permit identification tag and establish requirements for its posting.
The provisions of this chapter are not applicable to audible alarms affixed to automobiles.
Permits shall be required for alarm systems located in buildings of federal, state or local governmental agencies or authorities or in public elementary or secondary schools, and said alarm systems shall meet the other requirements of this chapter, including liability for civil penalties for its violation; provided, however, such alarm systems shall be exempt from permit fees, and no other provisions shall be made directing the use of such alarm systems nor shall they be discontinued or permits suspended or revoked.
Whenever any change occurs relating to the written information required by § 13-10C of this chapter, the applicant or permittee shall give written notice thereof to the Fire Marshal within 20 days after such change.
Issuing authority. The issuing authority shall be the Fire Marshal.
Approving authority. The approving authority shall be the Fire Marshal.
Applications; forms. Applications for all permits required hereunder shall be filed with the Fire Marshal and shall be accompanied by the requisite fee. The fee is established to cover part of the cost of investigating and processing the applications and permits and is not refundable. The Fire Marshal shall prescribe the form of the application and request such information as is necessary to evaluate and act upon the permit application. The application for fire alarm systems shall require the name, address and telephone number of the person who will render service or repairs during any hour of the day or night.
Application investigation and denial, alarm systems. The permit shall be denied by the Fire Marshal if the alarm system does not comply with standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 13-4 of this chapter. Said permit shall be issued to the person owning, using or possessing the fire alarm system. Said permit shall be revoked 90 days after the conveyance of premises on which the fire alarm system is located unless a permittee shall certify that the fire alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee after said conveyance and it conforms to the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 13-4.
Permit applications. The Fire Marshal shall review the applications for all permits required to be issued under this chapter. The decision of the Fire Marshal shall be final.
The final determination of the Fire Marshal may be appealed pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Alarm system permits. The fee for an alarm system permit shall be set by the Town Board. Each permit shall expire two years after issuance. Applications for renewals of permits shall be renewed only upon the certification by a permittee that the fire alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained by the permittee within the past 90 days and it conforms to the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 13-4. The fee for renewal of such permit shall be set by Town Board.
[Amended 2-18-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
Grounds. The following shall constitute grounds for suspension and revocation of the alarm system permit of a subscriber:
The violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
Where his fire alarm system actuates excessive avoidable alarms and thereby constitutes a public nuisance, which shall be deemed to be three avoidable alarms in any one-hundred-eighty-day period.
Where the subscriber, his employee or agent has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for a permit or in any report or record required to be filed with any Town agency.
Where the subscriber has had a similar type permit previously revoked for good cause within the past year, unless the applicant can show a material change in circumstances since the date of revocation.
A subscriber has failed to keep his alarm system in good repair.
A subscriber has failed to notify the Fire District, Monroe 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.
The Fire Marshal or his designee shall investigate written reports of each alleged avoidable alarm or alleged violations of other provisions of this chapter. Notice of said written report alleging violation shall be given to the subscriber.
The person alleged in violation of this chapter shall be given notice of the investigation and an opportunity to be heard during the investigative process. The Fire Marshal may hold a hearing if, in his sole discretion, it is deemed appropriate.
Upon completion of his investigation, the Fire Marshal shall make a determination, which shall be final. The Fire Marshal shall give notice of said decision to the person alleged to be in violation and to the party who made the report which initiated the investigation.
A final determination of the Fire Marshal may be appealed pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Procedure. If a person is found to be in violation of this chapter, the Fire Marshal shall:
Serve the person determined to be in violation with a written order of suspension. Said order shall be effective immediately, if personally served, or three business days after the same has been deposited in the United States Postal Service.
Immediately upon such an order becoming effective, the person in violation shall discontinue use of any alarm system requiring a permit issued pursuant to this chapter and cease all operations conducted under the authority of any permit issuance pursuant to this chapter.
In the event that an order of suspension has been issued for violation of Subsection A(3), the Fire Marshal may reinstate an alarm system permit upon receipt of the certification that the fire alarm system has been inspected and/or maintained subsequent to the issuance of the order of suspension and a further certification from a permittee that it conforms to the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 13-4.
The order of suspension shall, if the permit is not reinstated, become a revocation 15 days after the order of suspension becomes effective, unless the subscriber or permittee initiates an appeal from the determination of the Fire Marshal.
Where an appeal has been initiated, the order of suspension shall be stayed pending the determination of said appeal.
Surrender of permit. If any permit is revoked pursuant to this chapter, the subscriber or permittee shall surrender said permit to the Fire Marshal.
[Amended 2-18-2015 by L.L. No. 1-2015]
In addition to other provisions of this chapter, persons in violation thereof shall be liable for civil penalties as follows:
Failure to have an alarm system permit: $100 for each violation; provided, however, until one year from the effective date of this chapter, said penalty shall be deemed waived if the subscriber obtains an alarm system permit within 10 days of notification of the violation.
All remedies shall be cumulative, and the use of one or more remedies by the Town shall not bar the use of any other remedy for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The amount of any fee shall be deemed a debt to the Town. An action may be commenced in the name of the Town in any court of competent jurisdiction for the amount of any delinquent permit fee or civil penalty. All permit fees shall be due upon issuance of the permit.
Information contained on applications for permits required under this chapter shall be confidential.
Records of avoidable alarms of subscribers shall be deemed to be confidential.
Records of avoidable alarms on the equipment of any alarm business shall be indexed under the alarm business which installed and/or who certified it to be in conformance with the standards and regulations adopted pursuant to § 13-4. Said records shall be available to the public.
All information on applications pertaining to avoidable alarms shall not be deemed confidential insofar as it is necessary to conduct any litigation under this chapter or to be provided to appropriate officials for fire protection purposes.
The Fire Marshal shall retain all records regarding applications, avoidable alarm reports, investigations and all other data necessary for compliance with this chapter.