[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Uwchlan 10-17-2004 by Ord. No. 94-04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Township of Upper Uwchlan Automatic Protection Device Ordinance."
The following definitions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- ANSWERING SERVICE
- A service whereby trained employees, in attendance at all times, receive prerecorded voice messages from automatic protection devices or other electronic means reporting an emergency at a stated location and who have the duty to relay immediately by live voice only such emergency message.
- AUDIBLE ALARM
- Any device, bell, horn or siren, which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and emits a warning signal audible outside the building and designed to attract attention when activated by a criminal act or other emergency requiring police to respond.
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE
- An electrically or battery operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which automatically transmits, either directly or indirectly, any form of alarm or signal, upon receipt of a stimulus from a sensory apparatus that has detected a physical force or condition inherently characteristic of intrusion.
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE SUPPLIER
- Any person, firm or corporation who sells or leases and/or installs automatic protection devices.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The head or acting head of the Police Department of the Township of Upper Uwchlan.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any signal activated by an automatic protection device, including any audible alarm, or any other kind of direct or indirect signal given to the police or fire company, to which the police or fire company are intended to respond, which is not the result of an actual and/or attempted burglary, robbery, fire or similar emergency.
- To use a telephone or recording equipment to transmit a message, either directly or indirectly, by an automatic protection device.
- The Township of Upper Uwchlan, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Compliance with chapter. All who own, install, operate, repair, maintain, test or otherwise use automatic protection devices in the Township must do so in compliance with this chapter.
Compliance with National Electric Code. Automatic protection devices, suppliers and installers must conform to the requirements contained in the National Electric Code as they pertain to installations, inspections and testings of such devices.
Within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, each automatic protection device supplier who has installed an automatic protection device in the Township shall furnish to the Chief of Police a current list of such installations, which shall include the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the owner or lessee.
The name and address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
The name, address and telephone number of any answering service or any other person or firm who is authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the address where the device is installed.
The name and telephone number of any person, firm or corporation, if any, other than the automatic protection device supplier who is responsible for maintenance and repair of the automatic protection device.
Maintaining a list of installations. By the fifth working day of each month following the submission of the initial list, each automatic protection device supplier shall furnish the Chief of Police with a supplemental list of any additions, corrections or deletions from lists previously furnished. An automatic protection device supplier who enters into the business after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish a list containing the information specified in Subsection A by the fifth working day of the month following a first installation and shall thereafter furnish supplemental lists as required by this section.
Confidentiality of the list. All information furnished pursuant to these sections shall be kept confidential and shall be for the use of the Township only.
Each automatic protection device supplier who sells or leases an alarm in the Township after the effective date of this chapter shall furnish operating instructions and a maintenance manual to the buyer or lessee.
Automatic protection device suppliers and installers shall furnish, at their own expense, at or prior to the time of contracting, a copy of this chapter to owners, lessees or users of the equipment or services to be supplied.
Each automatic protection device supplier who sells or leases an automatic protection device in the Township shall make service available directly or through an agent on a twenty-four-hour-per-day basis, seven days a week, to repair such devices and to correct malfunctions as they occur. Such service shall be made available to any person using an automatic protection device at such user's expense. Any person using an automatic protection device shall make arrangements for service to be available to such device on a twenty-four-hour-per-day, seven-day-per-week basis.
Disclosure of availability of repair service. At the time of installation, an automatic protection device supplier shall furnish to any buyer or lessee using a repair service, written information as to how service may be obtained at any time, including the telephone number of the automatic protection device supplier or agent responsible for service. The buyer or lessee of the automatic protection device supplier or agent supplying a service shall be responsible for having the device disconnected or repaired as quickly as possible after notice that the automatic protection device is not functioning properly.
Installation. Automatic protection devices with audible alarms on location may be installed in Township residences and business establishments as long as they are registered and comply with the provisions of this chapter.
Timing device required. Automatic protection devices must be equipped with a timing device which will disconnect the audible alarm after a maximum period of 15 minutes. Audible alarms without such devices are prohibited in the Township and must be modified to include the timing device or be disconnected by the owner or lessee within 60 days from the effective date of this chapter.
Any person who has an automatic protection device in the Township may arrange to have such device keyed to an answering service authorized to relay emergency messages to the Emergency Service Dispatcher/Township Police Department. The relay of messages by authorized answering services shall be over the primary trunk line. Automatic protection devices keyed to an authorized answering service may also be keyed to another telephone which the owner or lessee of the automatic protection device has available to himself or his representative at some other location.
The public safety requires that the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning automatic protection devices be kept to a minimum so as to reduce unnecessary calls to the Police Department and to increase the effectiveness of properly functioning automatic protection devices. In order to enforce this chapter and to reduce the incidence of false alarms and malfunctioning automatic protection devices, it is necessary that appropriate Township officials have the right to inspect the installation and operation of any automatic protection device installed in the Township. Continuance of the installation of any automatic protection device already installed at the effective date of this chapter shall constitute consent by the owner or lessee thereof and authorization for the inspection of any such installation and/or operation of any such automatic protection device by the Chief of Police, Township Zoning Officer, Township Building Code Officer or any other designated agent of the Township. All such entries upon the premises upon which an automatic protection device is installed and all such inspections of installation and operation of automatic protection devices shall be at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice, except in an emergency situation.
For the purpose of defraying the cost to the Township of responding to false alarms, the owner or lessee of an automatic protection device with or without audible alarms, persons using the services of an intermediary and users of any other kind of direct or indirect connection with the police or fire communication centers, except persons using the two-way live-voice communication by telephone, shall, as a condition to installation and continued operation of such equipment or service, execute a consent in such form as may be prescribed by the Township that such owner, lessee or user shall pay the Township for all false alarms following the third false alarm, according to Subsection B, for each false alarm originating from the owner's premises that has not been activated by some force of nature or means beyond the owner's, lessee's or user's control.
A person that owns, uses or possesses an alarm device or automatic dialing device may not, after causing or permitting three false alarms to occur in a consecutive twelve-month period, cause or permit a subsequent false alarm to occur in the same consecutive twelve-month period. A person that violates this subsection commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300.
Any such owner, lessee or user who fails to execute the consent described in § 43-11 within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter shall, within the ninety-day period, disconnect the automatic protection device or any other kind of direct or indirect communication with the police or fire communication centers and shall discontinue using the service of any intermediaries.
Any owner, lessee, or user of an automatic protection device may revoke or refuse to consent as set forth in § 43-11 above only by disconnecting the automatic protection device. With respect to such devices installed at the effective date of this chapter, the owner, lessee or user can refuse or revoke the aforesaid consent by disconnecting such automatic protection device within 90 days from the effective date of this chapter.
Any police officer responding to an alarm which is determined to be false shall promptly notify the person in whose name the alarm is registered of the false alarm.
When messages evidencing failure to comply with the operation requirements, as set forth in this chapter, are received by the Township, and the Township concludes that the automatic protection device sending such messages should be disconnected in order to relieve the Township Police Department of the burden of responding to false alarms, the Township may require that the owner or lessee of the device, or his representative, disconnect the device until it is made to comply with said operational requirements. If disconnection of the defective device is not accomplished promptly, and the Township determines that the malfunctioning device is repeatedly sending false alarms without any intermittent, valid alarms, the Township may then take any action necessary to terminate the receiving of alarms.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township before a District Justice, pay a fine of not more than $600, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this chapter. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith.