[HISTORY: Adopted by Board of Trustees of the Charter Township of Northville 7-11-1991 as Ch 40 of the Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is adopted to regulate the use of alarm systems and penalize those responsible for alarm systems which give false alarms, thereby diverting the resources of the Township away from actual alarms.
These words and phrases shall be defined as follows:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- A detection device or an assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard or the commission of a crime requiring urgent attention or to which police or firemen are expected to respond. This definition includes fire alarm systems which monitor temperature, humidity or other conditions and alarm systems directly related to the detection of an unauthorized intrusion into a premises or an attempted robbery at a premises.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation or the negligence of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of his employees or agents. "False alarm" does not include an alarm caused by a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other violent condition beyond the control of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of their employees or agents and does not include a prearranged alarm system test.
- POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS
- The Police and Fire Departments of the Township, including the Police and Fire Dispatch Center of the Township or of any agency providing that service to the Township.
An alarm system installed in commercial or public buildings shall utilize equipment and methods of installation equivalent to or exceeding minimum Underwriters Laboratory, American National Standards Institute or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory requirements for the appropriate installation and shall be certified as such by an alarm system contractor licensed under the laws of the State of Michigan.
An alarm system installed in a residence shall utilize equipment equivalent to or exceeding minimum applicable Underwriters Laboratory or American National Standards Institute requirements for household burglar and fire alarm systems, and shall be certified as such by an alarm system contractor licensed under the laws of the State of Michigan.
If the alarm system was installed prior to the effective date of this chapter, it shall be inspected and certified by an alarm system contractor licensed under the laws of the State of Michigan within six months after the effective date of this chapter.
The owner or lessee of an alarm system shall be responsible for the proper installation, operation, and maintenance of the alarm system in compliance with this chapter and state law and may be charged and prosecuted for any violation.
Following three false alarms from an alarm or three violations of this chapter by those responsible for an alarm system during any twelve-month period, the Police or Fire Department may remove, disconnect and refuse to respond to further alarms from that alarm system until it has been inspected and recertified by a licensed alarm systems contractor as being properly installed, operated and maintained in compliance with this chapter and the laws of the State of Michigan. The Police and Fire Departments shall not take any action pursuant to this section or refuse to respond to further alarms until 10 days after the party responsible for maintaining the alarm system has been served by registered mail, return receipt requested, with a written notice of intent to take action pursuant to this section and, if at the expiration of the 10 days, documentation of inspection and recertification has not been delivered to the Police or Fire Department. If the Police or Fire Department is unable to effect service by registered mail, then service may be effected by posting the notice on any exterior door of the premises, which the alarm system serves and action may be taken under this section 10 days after posting.
No person, firm or corporation shall institute, use or operate, attempt to use operate or cause to be used or operated or arrange, adjust, program or otherwise provide or install any device or combination of devices that will upon activation, either mechanically, electronically or by other automatic means, initiate the calling, dialing or connection to any telephone number assigned to any subscriber, including without limitation any police, fire, public safety, ambulance or health service agency or entity by a public telephone company without the prior written consent of such subscriber. It shall be presumed that any such unconsented calling, dialing, or connecting was initiated or instituted by and emanated due to use or operation hereinbefore prohibited by the person, firm or corporation assigned the telephone number from which such call, dialing or connection originated, emanated or was transmitted.
The term "telephone number" means any number assigned to a person, firm or corporation by a public utility company engaged in the business of providing communication services and facilities, including without limitation any additional numbers assigned by a public utility company engaged in the business of providing communication services and facilities to be used by means of a rotary or other system to connect a subscriber to such primary number if the primary telephone number is in use.
No person, firm or corporation shall publish or cause to be published or disseminate or cause to be disseminated any telephone number of any police, fire, public safety, ambulance or health agency or entity which is not the true and correct telephone number of said agency or entity.
The owner or lessee of the alarm system shall be liable to the Township for any expenses incurred by the Township in controlling or responding to false alarms after the third occurrence within any twelve-month period.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be responsible for a municipal civil infraction, subject to the following penalties:
The following civil fines shall apply in the event of a determination of responsibility for a municipal civil infraction, unless a different fine is specified in connection with a particular section:
First offense. The civil fine for a first offense violation shall be in the amount of not less than $150, plus costs and other sanctions, for each offense.
Repeat offense. The civil fine for any offense which is a repeat offense shall be in an amount of not less than $300, plus costs and other sanctions for each offense.
In addition to ordering the defendant determined to be responsible for a municipal civil infraction to pay a civil fine, costs, damages and expenses, the Judge or Magistrate shall be authorized to issue any judgment, writ or order necessary to enforce, or enjoin violation of the chapter.
Continuing offense. Each act of violation, and on each day upon which any such violation shall occur, shall constitute a separate offense.
Remedies not exclusive. In addition to any remedies provided for by the Code of the Charter Township of Northville, any equitable or other remedies available may be sought.
The Judge or Magistrate shall be authorized to impose costs, damages and expenses as provided by the law.
A municipal civil infraction shall not be a lesser included offense of a criminal offense or of an ordinance violation which is not a civil infraction.