Harford County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Harford County Council as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 82.
[Adopted by Bill No. 87-39; amended in its entirety by Bill No. 94-47]
A. 
In this section, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
(1) 
Any member of the Harford County Sheriff's Department; or
(2) 
Any supervisory employee of:
(a) 
The Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits.
(b) 
The Department of Planning and Zoning.
(c) 
The Department of Public Works.
(d) 
The Department of Emergency Operations.
OWNER
The individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other entity whose name appears on the tax records of the county for any property subject to the provisions of this section.
B. 
Display of address numbers.
(1) 
An owner of improved real property shall display arabic numerals indicating the numerical address assigned to the property.
(2) 
The owner shall be responsible for the attachment of such numerals to the outside of the main portion of the improved property so that the address is plainly visible from the public roadway on which the property fronts.
(3) 
The owner shall use numerals at least 3 inches high and of a color which contrasts with the surface on which they are mounted. The numerals may include a letter only if the letter is part of the address assigned to the property. The owner may use a numeral 3 inches high if displayed within 10 feet of the public roadway.
(4) 
The owner of an improved property shall display a second set of numerals on the rear of the principal improvement if the improvement is used for commercial purposes.
(5) 
If the numerals are not clearly visible from the roadway named in the address of the property or if the property is located more than 150 feet from the roadway, the owner shall post a second set of numerals clearly visible from the roadway. Numerals shall be mounted on a contrasting surface at least 3 feet above the ground and located at the driveway or entrance lane within 10 feet of the public roadway.
(6) 
Numerals displayed on a mailbox may qualify only if the mailbox is located on the same side of the public roadway as the improved property and the numerals are clearly visible when approaching from either direction along the roadway. In the case of multiple improved properties served by a single lane or driveway, the numerals assigned to each property shall also be displayed at the entrance to the lane or driveway within 10 feet of the public roadway, and at each branch or junction of the land or driveway to indicate the proper lane or driveway for each improved property.
C. 
Warning for violation.
(1) 
A county representative who observes a violation of this section may issue a written warning to the owner of the property involved.
(2) 
The warning shall be issued by certified mail and notify the owner:
(a) 
Of the requirements of this section.
(b) 
How to comply with the requirements.
(c) 
That failure to comply with the warning within fifteen (15) days constitutes a violation of this section that is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.).
(3) 
The warning shall be mailed by the Department of Emergency Operations on a standard form developed by the Department.
D. 
Violations and penalties.
(1) 
An owner who fails to comply with a warning issued under Subsection C of this section is in violation of this section and is subject to a civil penalty not exceeding:
(a) 
Twenty-five dollars ($25.) for a first offense.
(b) 
Fifty dollars ($50.) for a second offense.
(c) 
One hundred dollars ($100.) for each subsequent offense.
(2) 
The Harford County Sheriff's Department shall enforce the provisions of this section.
(3) 
The county may collect any fines imposed under this section by commencing a civil action in the district court for Harford County.
[Adopted by Bill No. 90-11]
In this Article, the following words have the meanings indicated:
A. 
An automatic fire alarm system; and
B. 
A system of manual fire alarm stations that produces an audible signal when activated.
ALARM SYSTEM CONTRACTOR
A person who installs, maintains, monitors, alters or services alarm systems. "Alarm system contractor" does not include a person who sells or manufactures alarm systems unless that person installs, maintains, monitors, alters or services alarm systems.
ALARM USER
An occupant of a building, structure or facility in which an alarm system is operational.
A. 
The activation of an alarm system that causes a response from a volunteer fire company or any fire company responding at the request of the emergency operation division, if:
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
(1) 
The activation is not in response to an actual emergency; and
(2) 
The activation is not deliberate.
B. 
Includes:
(1) 
A negligently or accidentally activated alarm signal; and
(2) 
An alarm signal activated as the result of a faulty, malfunctioning or improperly installed or maintained alarm system.
C. 
Does not include:
(1) 
An alarm signal activated by unusually severe weather conditions or other causes beyond the control of the alarm user or alarm system contractor; or
(2) 
An alarm signal activated during the first 60 calendar days after an alarm system is installed.
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
A. 
When an alarm system is responsible for a false alarm, the Emergency Operations Division may issue a civil citation to the alarm user if the alarm system has been responsible for 2 or more false alarms within a 12-month period.
B. 
The civil citation shall include a fine of:
(1) 
$100 for the second false alarm within a 12-month period;
(2) 
$500 for the third false alarm within a 12-month period; and
(3) 
$1000 for each subsequent false alarm within a 12-month period.
A. 
For the purposes of this subsection, an alarm system is defective if it is responsible for 2 or more false alarms within a 12-month period.
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
B. 
The Emergency Operations Division shall provide written notice to the alarm user of a defective alarm system.
C. 
Upon receiving notice of a defective alarm system, the alarm user shall:
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
(1) 
Within 30 calendar days after receiving the notice, have the alarm system inspected by an alarm system contractor; and
(2) 
Within 15 calendar days after the inspection, file a written report with the Emergency Operations Division.
D. 
The report shall contain:
(1) 
The results of the inspection;
(2) 
A description of the probable cause of the false alarms; and
(3) 
A description of all actions taken to prevent future false alarms.
E. 
The Emergency Operations Division may issue a civil citation to an alarm user who continues to use a defective alarm system after being notified that the system is defective. The citation shall include a fine of $200. Each day a violation continues is a separate offense.
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
A. 
An alarm system contractor shall notify the Emergency Operations Division by telephone before servicing an alarm system.
B. 
The Emergency Operations Division may issue a civil citation to an alarm system contractor who violates Subsection A of this section if, while the contractor is servicing an alarm system, the system is responsible for a false alarm.
C. 
The civil citation shall include a fine of:
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
(1) 
$100 for the first citation within a 12-month period;
(2) 
$200 for the second citation within a 12-month period; and
(3) 
$1000 for each subsequent citation within a 12-month period.
[Amended by Bill No. 07-21]
A. 
The County Treasurer or his designee shall notify alarm users or alarm system contractors of amounts owed to the County and shall make demand therefore, pursuant to the provisions of this section.
B. 
Once notified by the Treasurer's office, the user or contractor will have 30 days to pay the amount owed.
C. 
False alarm fines for building owners shall be treated in the same manner as property taxes for enforcement of payments as provided in Section 123-32 of the Harford County Code, as amended. Tenants who have installed alarm systems shall be responsible for false alarm fines.
D. 
Delinquent false alarm fines shall bear interest at the same rate per month or any fraction thereof as provided in Section 123-27 of the Harford County Code. Invoices for false alarm fines are to be paid within 30 days of the date rendered and will be deemed delinquent if not paid. Any administrative costs or legal fees the County incurs in the collection of the fines shall be the responsibility of the alarm user or contractor.
E. 
The County may proceed by a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to collect the fines after demand therefor has been made by the County and the payment thereof refused by the alarm user or contractor.
[Added by Bill No. 07-21]
Fines collected under this section will be deposited to the general fund.