[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 11-6-1978 by Ord. No. 78-35; amended in its entirety 4-19-1982 by Ord. No. 82-17. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Fire prevention — See Ch. 99.
[Amended 8-19-1985 by Ord. No. 85-26]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide standards and regulations for various types of intrusion, burglar, fire and other emergency alarm equipment which produce a visual or audible signal or function by direct line, radio or telephone or which by any other means require a response by the Department of Police, fire service or other municipal agencies.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to alarm businesses and to any person who operates, maintains or owns any alarm device, dial alarm or local alarm designed to produce a visual or audible signal of an emergency and designed to summon or alert the police, fire service or other municipal agencies in response to any type of alarm signal.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ALARM SYSTEM
- Equipment or a device, or an assembly of equipment and devices, to signal the presence of an emergency or hazard requiring urgent attention and to which the Department of Police, fire service or other municipal agency may be expected to respond. In this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall include the terms "alarm device," "local alarm" and "dial alarm."
- CALENDAR YEAR
- January 1 through December 31.[Added 10-7-2002 by Ord. No. 02-17]
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Township of Bridgewater or his designated representative.
- DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
- The Department of Police of the Township of Bridgewater.
- DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE
- The designated representative of the Chief of Police or the Fire Inspector who performs a function required or permitted by this chapter under the supervision of the Chief of Police or the Fire Inspector, respectively.
- DIAL ALARM
- Any type of alarm system using telephone lines, transmitting an alarm directly through the police switchboard providing warning of intrusion, fire or other peril.
- FALSE ALARM
- Any alarm or signal of an alarm actuated by inadvertence, negligence, intentional or unintentional act of a person other than an intruder, and including alarms caused by mechanical failure, malfunction or improper installation of the alarm system and related equipment. "False alarms" shall not include activations caused by power or phone line interruptions, where such interruptions have been reported to the Police Department. Alarms created by mechanical failure, malfunctioning or improper installation of the alarm console shall not be deemed "false alarms."
- FIRE ALARM EQUIPMENT
- Includes the following:
- FIRE INSPECTOR
- The Fire Inspector of the Township of Bridgewater or his designated representative. The "Fire Inspector" serves concurrently as Fire Subcode Official pursuant to § 99-6 of this Code.
- FIRE SERVICES
- Authorized fire companies providing fire protection and suppression to the Township of Bridgewater.
- LOCAL ALARM
- Any alarm system which, when activated, produces a signal not connected
to the police switchboard, including but not limited to business burglar alarms
actuating bell devices providing warning of intrusion or other peril. The
term "local alarm" shall not include an alarm system solely connected to a
registered motor vehicle, nor shall the term include equipment designed to
signal solely within a building or series of buildings and which does not
emit signals, visible or audible, to persons outside such building or buildings.[Amended 8-19-1985 by Ord. No. 85-26]
- Any person who owns an alarm device who has obtained a permit according to the provisions of this chapter. All permits shall be issued and fees paid thereof on a calendar year basis renewable on January 1 of each succeeding year.
- Any natural person or individual, or any firm, partnership, association, limited partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation or any other business entity.
- WRITTEN NOTICE
- Notice by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "alarm console," which definition immediately preceded this definition, was repealed 8-19-1985 by Ord. No. 85-26.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "Police Commission," which definition immediately followed this definition, was repealed 10-7-2002 by Ord. No. 02-17.
Editor's Note: The former definition of "licensee," which definition immediately followed this definition, was repealed 8-19-1985 by Ord. No. 85-26.
No dial alarm shall be permitted unless it shall have first been registered with the Chief of Police for intrusion alarms, or the Fire Inspector for fire alarm devices, as hereinafter required, and approved by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector, respectively, after approval thereof by the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company and a test conducted by the alarm owner or on his/her behalf.
All dial alarms shall be coded to dial a separate special number to be provided by the Chief of Police. No dial alarm shall be coded to dial the general police or fire telephone number.
All dial alarms shall be capable of being disconnected to allow a call to police headquarters in the event of a false alarm.
The owner of each dial alarm system shall pay to the Township of Bridgewater the annual dial alarm fee set forth in Chapter 94 of this Code, in order to cover the cost of registration and testing and to amortize the cost of the special telephone lines required in police headquarters. The annual fee, or the appropriate pro rata share thereof, shall be due and payable to the Township of Bridgewater upon installation of a dial alarm system. In the case of a dial alarm system in existence at the time of the effective date of this chapter, the initial annual fee, or the appropriate pro rata share thereof, shall be due and payable within 30 days after said effective date. Thereafter, all annual fees shall be due and payable on January 1 of each year.
Owners of dial alarms shall be governed by the false alarm procedures and penalties set forth in this chapter.
If any person has any dial alarm connected at the time of the effective date of this chapter, it shall be reprogrammed within 30 days of said effective date to comply with this chapter.
If any dial alarm hereafter shall be found to be dialing the general police or fire number rather than the special number, the Chief of Police shall send the person in whose name the telephone is listed a written notice requiring compliance with this chapter. If the occupant or telephone subscriber fails to comply within 30 days after service of said notice, said failure shall constitute a violation of this chapter, and the person shall be liable for the penalties as set forth in this chapter. Each and every day that this chapter is not complied with shall constitute a separate offense.
The contents of a dial alarm message shall be clear and intelligible and in the format approved by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector. No such message shall be transmitted more than three times as a result of a single stimulus of the mechanism. Messages shall not exceed 15 seconds, and the time gap between each shall not exceed 10 seconds.
The sensory mechanism of dial alarms shall be adjusted so as to suppress false indications and not be actuated by impulses due to short flashes of light, wind, noise, rattling or vibration of doors or windows or other forces unrelated to general alarms.
All components of dial alarms shall be maintained by the owner in good repair. Upon failure to comply with the operational requirements of this chapter, the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector shall require that such dial alarm be disconnected until such time as compliance with the requirements is reestablished. If upon written notice from the Chief of Police or Fire inspector the owner of a dial alarm shall fail to disconnect said alarm within 10 days, such action shall constitute a violation of this chapter, and said person(s) shall be liable for the penalties set forth herein.
No person shall install, operate or maintain any alarm system unless the system has been registered with and approved by the Chief of Police for intrusion alarms, or the Fire Inspector for fire alarm devices. No permit shall be issued prior to a satisfactory inspection of the alarm system by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector, as appropriate, or their designees.
All alarms, no matter what type, shall be registered with the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector, as appropriate, on a form which shall include: the name, type, location and description of the alarm system; the name, address and twenty-four-hour telephone number of the alarm installer or person responsible for its maintenance; a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm; the person responsible to remit any fees or fines assessed under this chapter, and all other information as may be required by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector.
Permits for local alarm systems shall not be issued with respect to buildings which are not owner-occupied prior to receipt by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector of satisfactory proof that the occupant of the building has been notified of the intent to install a local alarm system.
No further registration will be required unless a change occurs in the information previously submitted with respect to any alarm system. It shall be the duty of each permittee to notify the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector of any change in the registration information within 10 days of such change. Failure to comply with these provisions will be deemed a violation of this chapter and subject the violator to the penalties contained herein. By installing an alarm system and registering same with the Township of Bridgewater, each permittee agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Township of Bridgewater, its agents, servants and employees from and against all claims, suits, damages, costs, losses and expenses and to release the Township of Bridgewater, its agents, servants and employees from any and all liability or damages in any way resulting from or arising out of or connected with the installation, operation or maintenance of the alarm system or any act or omission connected therewith.
Editor's Note: Former § 100-6, Issuance of license; representative to be on call, was repealed 8-19-1985 by Ord. No. 85-26.
Investigations In the case of false alarms which summon the Police Department or fire service to respond, the Police Chief or Fire Inspector, as appropriate, shall cause an investigation to be made and shall keep a record of such false alarms on file.
In the event of the occurrence of three false alarms in a twelve-month period, the permittee shall, within three days after written notice to do so from the Chief of Police or the Fire Inspector, complete a written report setting forth the cause or causes of the false alarms, the corrective action taken, a statement as to whether the alarm system has been inspected by an alarm service company, and such other information as the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector may reasonably require.
If a permittee during a calendar year has more than three false alarms, the Chief of Police shall assess a service fee for each occurrence in accordance with the following schedule.
[Amended 10-7-2002 by Ord. No. 02-17]
In the event of a fourth or subsequent false alarm, an investigation shall be conducted by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector, as appropriate. Where the investigation discloses continued abusive or negligent operation of an alarm system and a disregard for the taking of remedial steps to avoid false alarms, the Police Chief or Fire Inspector may require disconnection of the device for a limited or permanent period; provided, however, that the permittee shall be given written notice of the intended disconnection and shall have an opportunity, within 14 days of said notice, to show cause before the Chief of Police of the Township of Bridgewater with respect to intrusion alarms, or the Bridgewater Bureau of Fire Prevention, with respect to fire alarm devices, why such action should not be taken. The determination of the Chief of Police or the Bureau of Fire Prevention in such matters shall be based upon the effect on the general public health, safety and welfare of the continued use of the alarm system in question. Failure to remit the required service fee or to comply with a Chief of Police or Bureau of Fire Prevention determination that disconnection is required shall subject the permittee to the penalties set forth herein. Each and every day the permittee fails to comply shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 10-7-2002 by Ord. No. 02-17]
Any person testing an alarm system covered by the provisions of this chapter shall notify police headquarters immediately prior to and immediately after the testing is completed. Failure to do so shall constitute a violation of this chapter and subject such person to the penalties set forth herein.
Every permittee shall, by acceptance of a permit, be deemed to have consented to inspection of the premises on which said alarm devices are located at reasonable hours by the Chief of Police or Fire Inspector or their designated representatives.
Any unauthorized equipment may be disconnected by the Chief of Police, the Fire Inspector or their designated representatives for noncompliance with this chapter. Maintaining or installing unauthorized equipment shall be in violation of this chapter, and the person responsible for same shall be subject to the penalties set forth herein.
The Chief of Police and the Fire Inspector shall cooperate in all respects in connection with the administration of this chapter, and the forms, permits, records and other documents used by the Chief of Police and the Fire Inspector shall be as similar as possible in order to provide for uniformity of administration.
In the event that any person subject to the provisions of this chapter is directed by the Chief of Police or the Fire Inspector to correct a defect in an alarm system and fails to comply with such directive, written notice of disconnection shall be given, and the procedures set forth in § 100-7D shall be followed.
Any alarm, other than fire alarm systems, sounding an audible signal shall have built into its mechanism a device that shall automatically shut off the audible signal within 30 minutes.
The Chief of Police and Fire Inspector, jointly, may from time to time promulgate rules and regulations in furtherance of the administration of this chapter. Said rules and regulations shall become effective upon approval by resolution of the Township Council.
Any individual intentionally, willfully or maliciously destroying or injuring any of the posts, alarm boxes or other alarm apparatus owned by the Township of Bridgewater or intentionally, willfully or maliciously interfering with the operation of same or any part thereof or who hinders or impedes any of operations intended to be accomplished thereby or who intentionally causes or assists in causing a false alarm or an emergency to be given in any manner shall, upon conviction thereof, be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days or shall forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding $500, or both. In default of any fine imposed hereunder, any person convicted of a violation of this section may, in the discretion of the Municipal Judge, be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days.