Township of Franconia, PA
Montgomery County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Franconia 3-11-1996 by Ord. No. 234. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Franconia Township Alarm Ordinance."
This chapter is deemed expedient and necessary for the maintenance of peace, good government and the welfare of Franconia Township within the meaning of Clause LXII, Section 702 of the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 66506 et seq.
This chapter is intended to serve the following purposes:
A. 
To encourage owners of automatic security and emergency detection and alarms devices to maintain such devices properly in order to prevent false alarms.
[Amended 11-10-1997 by Ord. No. 258]
B. 
To discourage false alarms, which unnecessarily divert police, fire and emergency services from legitimate demands for service.
C. 
To fund the expense of the enforcement and administration of the provisions of this chapter by requiring payment of service fees from owners of automatic detection alarm devices for multiple false alarms so that the general revenues of the township are not required to bear the expense.
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
FALSE ALARM
Any signal activated by an automatic fire, security or emergency detection or alarm device, any audible alarm or any other kind of direct or indirect signal to which police or emergency response agencies respond and find that there is no indication of an attempted illegal entry, burglary, intrusion, medical or other similar emergency, excluding weather extremes and utility interruptions which activate such devices. False fire alarms are not regulated by this chapter, and a false alarm, as herein defined, does not include a false fire alarm.
[Amended 11-10-1997 by Ord. No. 258]
TOWNSHIP
Franconia Township.
It shall be unlawful for the property owner, lessee or other person occupying or otherwise on any premises within the township to make, permit or cause a false alarm, directly or indirectly, to any police department, fire company or emergency response agency.
A. 
The status of an alarm as a false alarm shall be determined by the Chief of Police, whose decision shall be final.
B. 
Within 15 days after receipt by the Chief of Police of a report of a false alarm by the police or emergency response agency, the Chief of Police will serve a written notice of the false alarm to the record title owner or lessee of the property where the false alarm occurred, notifying said property owner or lessee of the obligations of the property owner or lessee to take corrective action to remedy the cause of the false alarm and of the possible service fees and penalties that could result from multiple false alarms as hereinafter set forth. Service of the notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service. A copy of this chapter shall constitute sufficient notice to the property owner or lessee that the service fees and penalties hereinafter set forth may be imposed and shall as well be sufficient to inform the property owner or lessee of his, her or their responsibility to take corrective action to remedy the cause of the false alarm.
[Amended 11-10-1997 by Ord. No. 258]
C. 
Upon notification of a false alarm, a written report shall be made within 14 days by the owner or lessee delivered to the Chief of Police. The report shall set forth what corrective action has been taken to remedy the cause of the false alarm and to eliminate future false alarms.
D. 
Service fees for multiple false alarms shall be assessed by the township as follows:[1]
(1) 
A third false alarm in any one calendar year shall be subject to a service fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
(2) 
A fourth false alarm in any one calendar year shall be subject to another service fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
A fifth and subsequent false alarms in any one calendar year shall be subject to another service fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
E. 
Service fees shall be billed by the township to the property owner or lessee and shall be paid within 60 days from the date of the bill. Interest on delinquent bills shall accrue at the rate of 10% per year, and the amount due plus accrued interest may be filed as a municipal lien upon the property of the owner or lessee and collected as provided by the Pennsylvania Municipal Claims Act.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq.
[Amended 6-10-1996 by Ord. No. 237[1]]
This chapter shall be enforced by action brought before a District Justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person who violates or permits the violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 per violation or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each section of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).