[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethlehem 1-28-1987 by L.L. No. 1-1987; amended in its entirety 10-26-1988 by L.L. No. 7-1988. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Police Department — See Ch. 24.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Emergency Alarm System Law of the Town of Bethlehem."
This chapter is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the people of the Town of Bethlehem, New York, including the protection of the property of the Town and its inhabitants, by imposing regulations on the sale, installation and maintenance of burglar, fire and other emergency alarms in the Town of Bethlehem.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A. Any person, corporation or other entity who assembles, installs, constructs or maintains emergency alarms in the Town of Bethlehem ("Town").
- B. The term "alarm supplier" shall not include property owners who install and/or maintain emergency alarms in premises owned and occupied by such property owner as a residence or place of business, nor shall such term include lessees of premises who install and/or maintain emergency alarms in such leased premises occupied by such lessee as a residence or place of business.
- A. Any device which transmits a signal to or otherwise communicates to or with, causes communication to or with or initiates communication to or with the Police Department of the Town of Bethlehem ("Police Department"), or any such device which causes an audible signal to be emitted on the exterior of the premises wherein such device is installed.
- B. Such term shall not include, however, any such device installed in premises owned or controlled by any governmental agency, school district or municipality and shall not include any such device installed in a motor vehicle as that term is defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.
- A. A signal emitted by an emergency alarm, which signal results in an actual communication to or with the Police Department, which communication falsely indicates that there is or has been a fire, burglary, intrusion or other emergency at a premises in the Town of Bethlehem.
- B. A "false alarm" does not include signals emitted by an emergency alarm caused by or as a result of circumstances such as storms or acts of God beyond the control of the licensee.
- The person, corporation or other entity who applies for and to whom an emergency alarm permit is issued or reissued.
No alarm supplier shall be permitted to install or service emergency alarms within the Town of Bethlehem without first being licensed to do so by said Town.
Before an alarm supplier may be licensed by the Town of Bethlehem, at least one individual who is owner, officer, partner or employee of the alarm supplier shall establish to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police or his designee that he has been engaged in or employed by an alarm business, in sales, service or installation, for an aggregate period of three years prior to applying for an alarm supplier's license, and, in addition, that such person devotes a substantial portion of his time engaged in and/or supervising alarm services on behalf of the alarm supplier.
The Chief of Police may deny the application for an alarm supplier license or renewal or may revoke or suspend a license if he finds that the applicant or the individual having authority and the responsibility for the management and operation of the alarm supplier's business or that any of the alarm supplier's owners, partners or principal corporate officers have:
Been convicted in any jurisdiction of a felony or a misdemeanor, if the Chief of Police finds that such conviction reflects unfavorably on the fitness of the alarm supplier to engage in the alarm business.
Knowingly given false information of a material nature in connection with the application for an alarm supplier's license or its renewal or for an emergency alarm permit.
Committed fraud, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction, in connection with any contract of or work performed by the alarm supplier.
Been found by the Chief of Police to have violated any of the provisions of this chapter or any rules or regulations of the Chief of Police, which violations reflect unfavorably upon the fitness of the alarm supplier to engage in the alarm business.
The annual fee for such alarm supplier's license shall be $25.
Prior to the installation by an alarm supplier, as defined in § 35-3 herein, of any emergency alarm in the Town of Bethlehem, a permit for such emergency alarm must be issued by the Town. Application for such permit shall be made to the Chief of Police of the Town of Bethlehem (the "Chief") or, if none, to the person designated as Acting Chief by the Town Board. Such application shall contain such information as is required by the regulations as promulgated and amended by the Chief.
Every owner of an emergency alarm, except one defined in § 35-3 herein, shall apply for a permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter within 90 days after the effective date hereof or shall disable said emergency alarm.
A fee of $25 shall be paid to the Town by the applicant prior to the issuance of such permit, and such permit may be issued only to the owner or lessee of the premises in which the alarm is to be installed.
In the event that after a permit is issued the owner or lessee of the premises protected by an emergency alarm changes, the licensee shall immediately notify the Chief of such change. Upon such change, such emergency alarm shall be immediately disabled in such a manner as to prevent the same from transmitting alarm signals. Such alarm device shall remain so disabled until a new permit is issued to the new owner or lessee. In the event that a permit issued by the Town is revoked pursuant to the provisions of the chapter, the emergency alarm for which such permit was issued shall be immediately disabled in such a manner as to prevent the same from transmitting alarm signals.
Any person or persons, associations or corporations failing to submit the application required by Subsection E herein and obtaining the required approval thereof is guilty of a violation and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or to imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both.
Each and every emergency alarm in the Town of Bethlehem shall be properly maintained by the personnel of an alarm supplier licensed by the Town pursuant to § 35-4 of this chapter.
The Chief of Police, subject to Town Board approval, shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing the operations, testing and maintenance of each alarm system. The penalty for violation of said rules and regulations shall be the suspension or revocation of the alarm supplier's license.
Penalties as set forth herein may be imposed against the licensee of any emergency alarm which emits a false alarm. A grace period of 45 calendar days after a new installation of an emergency alarm, or after making operational a disabled emergency alarm, will be granted by the Chief in writing after application therefor by the licensee. Extensions of such grace period may be granted in writing by the Chief in the Chief's discretion.
The penalties for false alarms which may be imposed against the licensee for the occurrence of false alarms caused by such licensee's emergency alarm are as follows:
The Chief may revoke a permit issued pursuant to this chapter upon the occurrence of the fourth false alarm within a one-year period.
Each and every emergency alarm system which is audible at the exterior of the premises of the alarm installation shall be installed with a timer which will discontinue the audible signal after a maximum time period of 30 minutes.
After 90 days from the effective date of this chapter, each and every automatic dialer alarm of any type shall not call any telephone number servicing any of the Town of Bethlehem emergency services.
The Town of Bethlehem shall not be liable for any defects in the operation of emergency alarm systems nor for any failure to respond appropriately nor for any erroneous response nor for the failure or defect of any licensee pursuant to the provisions of this chapter with respect to the installation, operation or maintenance of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals or messages or the relaying of such signals or messages.
In case of apparent false alarms received, it is mandated that a representative of the emergency alarm user respond to the scene to verify the security of the premises.