[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Simsbury 6-13-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire Department — See Ch. 18.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 61, Alarm Systems, adopted 9-24-1990.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards and regulations applicable to alarm systems and alarm system owners/users, as defined in this chapter. The responsible usage of alarm systems is the primary goal of this chapter, and the Town of Simsbury mandates that the following chapter be complied with in order to enhance the safety of the residents of Simsbury as well as the safety of Simsbury police officers, firefighters and volunteer ambulance personnel responding to alarms.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM BUSINESS
- Any business operated for a profit which engages in the activity of installing, leasing, maintaining, servicing, monitoring, receiving or responding to alarm systems, including burglar, holdup, panic, fire or medical alert alarm systems, or which causes any of these activities to take place.
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Any assemblage of equipment and devices (or a single device, such as a solid-state unit, that plugs directly into a one-hundred-ten-volt AC line) arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention of the Police Department, the Fire Department or the Volunteer Ambulance Service.
- ALARM SYSTEM OWNER/USER
- A person who buys and/or leases or otherwise obtains an alarm system and thereafter installs it or has it installed and contracts with an alarm business to monitor and/or service the alarm system. The term "alarm system owner/user" shall also mean a person who has control of premises in which an operable alarm system is installed.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm system through the mechanical failure, improper monitoring, malfunction, improper installation or negligence of the alarm system owner/user or his employees, agents or family. "False alarms" do not include activations of alarm systems caused by fire, criminal act or other emergency; an act of nature, such as an earthquake, tornado or hurricane; circumstances which are not within the control of the alarm system owner/user; or failure of telephone company equipment used for the transmitting of alarms from premises or property to a monitoring location.
- FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
- Any heat-activated, smoke-activated, flame-activated or other such automatic device capable of transmitting a fire alarm signal to a central station operating company. All fire alarms shall be installed, tested, and maintained in accordance with the Connecticut State Fire Code and applicable building codes.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Volunteer Fire Department of the Town of Simsbury.
- FIRE DISTRICT
- The Fire District of the Town of Simsbury.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- The person appointed as Fire Marshal by the President of the Simsbury Fire District, or such person's designee.
- INTRUSION ALARM SYSTEM
- Any alarm system which transmits an alarm signal to a central station operating company indicating a burglary, robbery or other intrusion into a building or which emits or causes to be emitted an audible alarm signal.
- MEDICAL ALARM SYSTEM
- Any alarm system which transmits an alarm signal to a central station operating company indicating that a person is in need of medical assistance.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- POLICE CHIEF
- The Chief of the Police Department of the Town of Simsbury, Connecticut, or his designee.
- POLICE COMMISSION
- The Police Commission of the Town of Simsbury or its designee(s).
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Police Department of the Town of Simsbury, Connecticut, or any authorized agent thereof.
- RECORDED MESSAGING ALARM SYSTEM
- A signaling device that dials a predetermined number when the alarm system signals an intrusion or attempted intrusion and audibly reports such an intrusion or attempted intrusion from a recorded message at the premises.
- The Town of Simsbury, Connecticut.
The Police Commission may promulgate rules and regulations to implement this chapter. Said regulations shall be consistent with the terms of this chapter.
The Fire Marshal may promulgate rules and regulations to implement the portions of this chapter relating to fire alarms. Said regulations relating to fire alarms shall be consistent with the terms of this chapter and with any regulations adopted by the Police Commission to implement this chapter.
The town is hereby authorized to issue a permit to any person who is the owner, lessee or occupant of premises or property located in the town to install, operate, maintain or modify an alarm system, and no such system shall be installed, operated, maintained or modified unless such permit shall have first been issued. The form and content of information required on the permit application shall be as determined by the Police Commission in rules and regulations promulgated under § 61-3A. The town shall charge a fee of $10 for the issuance of any such permit.
No permit shall be issued to operate, maintain, install or modify a fire alarm system unless a locked key vault system designed to provide rapid entry into an unattended, secured building without damage has been installed on the premises for which the permit is issued.
Except as otherwise provided by law, a permit issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Police Commission upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police, or, in the case of a fire alarm system, upon the recommendation of the Fire Marshal, and the giving of 10 days notice, in writing, by certified mail to the permit holder, sent to the address shown on the permit.
The Police Commission may impose a penalty of $25 upon any person who operates an alarm system for which a permit has not been issued for each day of continued noncompliance with this section.
The owner/user of an alarm system shall be responsible for informing the Police Department of any material change in the information provided in the alarm permit application within 10 days of such change. The Police Commission may impose a penalty upon an alarm system owner/user in the amount of $25 for each day of continued noncompliance with this section.
If at the passage of this chapter an alarm system has already been installed and is being operated on premises or property located within the town, the alarm system owner/user shall comply with the requirements of this section within 15 days after the Simsbury Police Department has notified the alarm system owner/user of the requirements of this section. The Police Commission may impose a penalty upon an alarm system owner/user in the amount of $25 for each day of continued noncompliance with this section once the fifteen-day notification requirement has been met.
With the exception of town or fire district facilities, no alarm system shall transmit an alarm directly to the Police Department or Fire Department.
Within 15 days after receipt of notice that an alarm system may not transmit directly to the Police Department and an order to disconnect such system, the alarm system owner/user shall disconnect such alarm system. Failure to do so within this fifteen-day period shall subject the alarm system owner/user to a penalty of $50 for each continued day of noncompliance.
Each alarm system owner/user is required to maintain all components of his alarm system in good working order at all times to ensure that the sensory mechanism used in connection with such system is adjusted to suppress false indications, so that the alarm system will not be activated by impulses due to forces unrelated to genuine alarms. In the case of fire alarm systems, maintenance and testing shall be conducted in conformity with the State Fire Safety Code, as the same may be amended from time to time.
When an alarm business's service to its subscribers is disrupted by the alarm business for any reason, or the alarm business becomes aware of a disruption, the alarm business shall promptly notify its subscribers by telephone that protection has been disrupted. If, however, the subscriber has instructed the alarm business, in writing, not to make such notification by telephone during business hours, the alarm business may comply with such instructions. When installation of required fire alarm systems is interrupted for repairs or other necessary reasons, the owner, tenant or lessee shall promptly notify the Fire Department.
The Police Department shall administer and enforce this chapter and any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. Violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute grounds for the revocation of a permit issued under this section.
In addition to any other penalty set out in this chapter, the Police Commission may by regulation prescribe penalties not to exceed $90 for specific violations of this chapter, if no penalty for such a violation is specifically prescribed by this chapter.
The Police Department, or such agency as may be designated by the Board of Selectmen, shall be responsible for the billing of penalties and false alarm charges to alarm system owners/users who have violated the provisions of this chapter. The town, or such agency as may be designated by the Board of Selectmen, shall be responsible for the receipt and collection of all such penalties and charges.
Notification of false alarms. If the Police Department or Fire Department responds to a false alarm as defined in § 61-2 of this chapter, the Police Department shall leave at the premises of the alarm system owner/user a notice of such response and a copy of the provisions of the ordinance dealing with false alarms.
No more than three false alarms from any one alarm system per calendar year shall be permitted.
The above charges for false alarms shall be paid to the town or such agency as may be designated by the Board of Selectmen. Failure to pay any such charges shall subject an alarm system owner/user to the penalty provisions of this chapter.
False alarm charges which remain unpaid for a period of more than 30 days after billing shall be doubled.
Hearing on penalties or revocation of alarm permit; reconsideration of false alarm determination; appeal of false alarm charges.
Upon written request filed with the Police Commission within 15 days of the receipt of a notice of penalty or revocation of an alarm permit, the alarm system owner/user may request a hearing before the Police Commission to determine if there are sufficient grounds to sustain any penalty(s) or revocation as provided for in this chapter. If such a request is filed on a timely basis, the penalty(s) or revocation of the permit will not take effect until such hearing shall have been held.
Within 15 days of the notification of a false alarm, an alarm system owner/user may request reconsideration of the false alarm determination by filing a written request with the Police Commission containing information to show why the alarm indication was not false. Within 15 days of the receipt of such a request, the Police Commission or its designee shall make a decision to reconsider or to reaffirm the false alarm determination. Prior to taking an appeal under § 61-7F(3) below, an alarm system owner/user must request reconsideration of a false alarm determination as provided in this section.
Within 15 days of the notification from the Police Commission or its designee reaffirming a false alarm determination, an alarm system owner/user may file a written request for appeal of the false alarm charges with the Police Commission. The Police Commission shall hold a hearing at which the alarm system owner/user, the Police Chief or his designee and/or the Fire Marshal or his designee shall be heard. Within 10 days of such hearing, the Police Commission shall issue a decision affirming, annulling or modifying the false alarm determination and/or any charges stemming therefrom and shall send a copy of such decision to the alarm system owner/user by certified mail.
The Police Commission may designate the Police Chief or one or more of his subordinates to perform its duties under this section except with regard to hearings held pursuant to this section.
The alarm system owner/user of every intrusion alarm system emitting an audible signal shall, at the time of installation or within six months of the effective date of this chapter, install or cause to be installed an automatic timing device which shall deactivate such alarm so that it will not emit an audible signal for more than 30 minutes.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall be an infraction as provided for in Connecticut General Statutes Sections 51-164m and 51-164n. Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 51-164p, any violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $90 for each offense.
Funds from charges or penalties arising out of or as a result of the use of fire alarm systems shall be payable to the Simsbury Fire District for deposit in the Fire District General Fund.
All other funds from penalties or charges imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be payable to the Town of Simsbury and shall be deposited in the Town General Fund.
Neither the Town of Simsbury nor any fire district within the the town shall be liable for any defects in operation of any alarm system, for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such a source or for any failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation, operation, disconnection or removal of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals or the relaying of such signals or messages.
If any section, clause, provision or portion of this chapter shall be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect or impair any other section, clause, provision or portion of this chapter.
This chapter shall take effect July 14, 1994.