[HISTORY: Adopted by the Representative Town Meeting of the Town of Branford 6-24-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This enactment also superseded former Ch. 114, Alarm Devices, adopted 6-11-1997.
The purpose of this chapter is to encourage security alarm users and alarm system monitoring companies to maintain reliable and properly used alarm systems in order to reduce unnecessary Police and Fire Department responses to false alarms.
Numerous false alarms hinder the efficiency of public safety personnel and constitute a danger to the general public in the streets during responses to false alarms. Uniform standards of control and regulations for the installation, use and maintenance of alarm devices will assist in the safety of all.
This chapter intends to promote the responsible use of alarm devices and to decrease the number of false alarms and related nuisances in the Town of Branford.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated below:
- A. Any device which, when activated by a criminal act, fire or other emergency calling for Police or Fire Department response:
- B. Excluded from this definition and the scope of this chapter are devices which are designated to alert or signal only persons within the premises in which the device is installed.
- ALARM USER
- Any individual, partnership, corporation or other form of association that owns or leases a security alarm system or on whose premises a security alarm system is maintained for the protection of the premises. This term does not apply to municipal facilities and establishments.
- AUTOMATIC DIAL ALARM
- A security alarm system with a device that automatically dials, mechanically or electronically, the Central Dispatch Center emergency assistance telephone lines without human activation.
- CENTRAL DISPATCH CENTER
- Any designated location at which the Town of Branford receives an emergency alarm signal.
- CENTRAL STATION
- An office to which remote alarm devices transmit signals where the operators monitor those signals and relay information to the Central Dispatch Center or Police or Fire Departments.
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Town of Branford or the Chief's designee.
- Any person, firm or corporation in the business of supplying and installing alarm devices or servicing the same.
- FALSE ALARM
- The activation of an alarm device to which the Police or Fire Department responds and which the activation is not caused by break-in, a fire or other emergency. "False alarm" does not include the activation of an alarm device by violent weather conditions or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the alarm user.
This chapter, including all registration requirements, shall be administered by the First Selectman or his designee, who shall be known as the "administrator."
The administrator shall notify the alarm user of any false alarm charge by mail. Within 30 days of receipt of such notice, the alarm user may file with the administrator information to show that the alarm was not a false alarm within the meaning of this chapter. Such information may include documentation from the alarm user's telecommunications and/or alarm provider that the activation of the alarm device was caused by malfunctioning equipment.
Each alarm user shall register such alarm device within 60 days of installation. The form for registration will be available at the office of the Town Clerk and at police and fire headquarters. After December 31, 1999, an alarm user who has not registered his or her alarm device may be assessed a fine of $25. Such fine will be assessed if the Fire or Police Department responds to a false alarm from an unregistered alarm device. The fine will double if not paid within 90 days of assessment.
No automatic dial alarm may be installed after September 1, 1997. No automatic alarm device in use on such date may remain in use after October 1, 1999.
Unless otherwise required by law, no alarm device which produces an exterior audible signal shall be installed unless its operation is automatically restricted to a maximum of 10 minutes. Within 60 days of enactment of this chapter, preexisting alarms which produce an exterior audible sound shall be retrofitted so that they are automatically deactivated after no more than 10 minutes.
The Police Department and Fire Department shall report false alarms to the administrator, based on the written report of the investigator.
It shall be the responsibility of the central station to notify the alarm user whenever the central station reports an alarm activation to the Police or Fire Department.
When the administrator determines that the Police or Fire Department has responded to a false alarm, the administrator shall assess a charge on the responsible alarm user according to the following schedule:
For the first three false alarms within the Town's fiscal year, provided that the alarm device has been properly registered as defined in this chapter: no charge.
For the fourth and each subsequent false alarm within the same fiscal year: $50 per occurrence.