[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Allen 11-17-1983 by Ord. No. 343; amended in its entirety 7-7-2010 by Ord. No. 677. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following words, terms and phrases shall have the following meanings unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:
- AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE (ALARM SYSTEM)
- Any mechanical or electrically operated device or instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which is designed or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or an attempt thereof or designed or used for alerting others of the commission or attempted commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility or designed or used for the detection of fire, flames or smoke within a building, structure or facility, or any combination thereof, and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. "Automatic protection device" includes but is not limited to audible alarms, automatic dialing devices, alarms connected directly to a communications center, alarms relayed through any private central station and proprietary alarms. The following devices shall not be included under the definition:
- A. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility such as those systems designed for the detection of equipment malfunctions.
- B. Devices which are designed, used or provided for the sole purpose of evacuation of occupants of industries, institutions and other similar premises.
- C. Devices which are designed for and installed upon motorized vehicles or trailers.
- D. Devices maintained and/or operated by the Upper Allen Township Police Department and/or the Upper Allen Township Volunteer Fire Department used for the detection of unlawful acts or for demonstration purposes.
- COMMUNICATION CENTER
- The Cumberland County Communications Center, the Upper Allen Township Police Department headquarters, any base of the Upper Allen Township Volunteer Fire Company or any other specifically authorized location.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any activation of an automatic protection device signal or notification of such activation by any means resulting in or expecting the response of the Upper Allen Township Police Department and/or the Upper Allen Township Volunteer Fire Company where an emergency situation does not or did not exist at the time of such activation. The term does not include alarms caused by hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods or other violent acts of God.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- Any and all officers, members and equipment of the Upper Allen Township Volunteer Fire Department.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- An officer appointed by the Board of Commissioners or his designated representative.
- Any person, group, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Chief of Police of the Upper Allen Township Police Department or his designated representative.
- POLICE or POLICE DEPARTMENT
- All members of the Upper Allen Township Police Department.
- The reports, incidents, statistics or files of the Upper Allen Township Police Department and/or the Upper Allen Township Volunteer Fire Company.
- TROUBLE ALARM
- A condition whereby an automatic protection device is in a pre-alarm condition, commonly referred to as a "trouble setting," and a communications center receives notification of such a condition. In the absence of an actual emergency, a trouble alarm shall be considered a false alarm.
Excessive false alarms.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be prohibited for any person to accumulate more than four false alarms in a period of 12 months. A twelve-month period shall run from January 1 to December 31, inclusive, on any given year. The number of false alarms during any twelve-month period shall be ascertained from the records of the Police Department or Fire Department, Fire Marshal or both.
When a person has accumulated two false alarms, the Police Chief or Fire Marshal shall send a letter to said person stating such. The letter shall also inform the person that the Police Chief or the Fire Marshal can schedule a physical examination of the alarm system as the case may be, if the person desires such service. Also, the person will be permitted to furnish proof, to the satisfaction of the Police Chief or Fire Marshal, that said person is taking steps to correct the false alarm problem. If such person requests the alarm system examination or shows proof of corrective action, the Police Chief or Fire Marshal may exempt such person from the requirements of this chapter for a period not to exceed 20 days to allow for the repair and/or improvement of the alarm system. Only one such exemption shall be granted during a twelve-month period.
Testing without permission. It shall be prohibited for any person to conduct any test or demonstration of any automatic protection device designed to make direct connection to the communications center at any time without first obtaining the express permission of the communications center or the police. Such permission is not required where the device to be tested or demonstrated is not connected to a communications center and the receipt of the alarm or signal is not relayed to the Police Department or Fire Department by any means.
Connection of automatic dialing service. It shall be prohibited for any person to authorize and/or connect or interconnect an automatic dialing device to a communications center telephone line not designated for such connections. Connections to designated telephone lines shall not be made without the express permission of the communications center involved.
Operation of automatic protection device when privilege suspended or revoked. It shall be prohibited for any person to operate or maintain an automatic protection device at any time when the privilege to do so has been suspended or revoked in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The enforcement and administration of this chapter shall be the responsibility of the Police Department or Fire Marshal through the authority of the Chief of Police or Fire Marshal or his designated representative.
The Chief of Police or Fire Marshal may promulgate such rules as are necessary for administration and enforcement of this chapter. Any such rules shall be approved by a duly approved resolution of the Upper Allen Township Board of Commissioners and shall be available for public inspection.
Where an automatic protection device which is directly connected to a communications center is activated and continuously transmits a signal, either through malfunction or defect in the system, the police or Fire Marshal is authorized to order the disconnection of the automated device.
When the police or Fire Marshal disconnects an automatic protection device under § 83-3C of this chapter, no liability shall incur to the Township of Upper Allen or any of its employees through such action.
Any person possessing and using an automatic protection device shall maintain such device in good working order.
Any person possessing and using an automatic protection device shall furnish information to the police concerning emergency contact in case of system malfunctions. The police shall provide forms for the recording of this information.
Any person who has had an automatic protection device disconnected under § 83-3C of this chapter shall not reconnect the device without the permission of the police or Fire Marshal. Such permission shall not be withheld when proof of repair is shown.
Any person who has had an automatic protection device disconnected under § 83-3C of this chapter shall be deemed to have his privilege to operate or maintain such device suspended or revoked. Such suspension or revocation shall remain in full force and effect until the conditions of § 83-5C of this chapter are met.
Where an automatic protection device is installed or attached to a residence, business, warehouse, institution or other similar premises, the owner or person having the greatest operations power at that facility shall be held responsible for that false alarm when a false alarm is received by the Police Department or Fire Department.
The information furnished and secured pursuant to this chapter shall be confidential in nature and shall not be subject to public inspection and shall be kept so that the contents thereof shall not be known except to those persons charged with the administration of this chapter.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 for each offense, plus costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of said fine and costs shall undergo imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.