Borough of Abbottstown, PA
Adams County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Abbottstown 11-18-1993 by Ord. No. 1993-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and fire protection - See Ch. 113.
This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the "Abbottstown Borough Automatic Alarm System Ordinance."
The intent of this chapter is to:
A. 
Protect the emergency service of the Borough from misuse and provide for the maximum possible efficiency of service to alarm system users.
B. 
Encourage the proper maintenance, care and management of alarm systems within Abbottstown Borough.
C. 
Provide a record of alarm systems located within Abbottstown Borough.
D. 
Promote the general peace, health, welfare and safety of Abbottstown Borough.
The following terms, phrases and words shall have the meaning given in this chapter, unless it is apparent from the context that a different meaning is intended:
ALARM SYSTEM
Any mechanical, electrical or electronic device that is designed or used for the detection of burglars, robbery, fire, smoke or need for medical assistance within a building, structure or facility or for alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act or hazard within a building, structure or facility, or both, and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. Alarm systems shall include, but are not limited to, direct dial telephone or other electronic devices or audible alarms. Devices that are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility are not included within this definition, nor are auxiliary devices installed by the telephone company to protect telephone systems that might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system. An alarm system includes all of the necessary equipment designed and installed for the detection of burglary, robbery, fire, need for medical assistance or other hazard in a single building, structure or facility or for alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or both.
BOROUGH
Abbottstown Borough, Adams County, Pennsylvania.
FIRE CHIEF
The Chief of Abbottstown Fire Company.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation.
POLICE CHIEF
The Chief of the Abbottstown-Hamilton Joint Police Department.
USER
The person in physical control of a premises, including, but not limited to, a tenant, owner, contract purchaser or trustee.
A. 
Each alarm user and owner of a premises with an alarm system as defined herein shall register the system with the Borough Secretary within 60 days of the date of enactment of this chapter in the case of existing alarm systems or within five days of the installation or replacement or substantial modification of an alarm system after the effective date of this chapter. No newly installed or replaced or substantially modified alarm system shall be activated prior to such registration.
B. 
Every person who shall be in control of any building, structure or facility wherein an alarm system is located shall register that fact with the Borough Secretary within 10 days after becoming in control.
C. 
Registration shall be accomplished by the filing of a written statement on such form as prescribed by the Borough, executed by the alarm user, setting forth:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the user of the alarm system.
(2) 
The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the premises upon which the alarm system is located, if different from that of the alarm user.
(3) 
The address and description of the property where the alarm system is located.
(4) 
The location and description of the alarm system and its mode of operation.
(5) 
The name and address of the installer and certification by the installer that the system has been installed in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(6) 
Location where the alarm will be received, including address, telephone number and contact person.
(7) 
The name, address and telephone number of at least three individuals who have keys to the premises at which the alarm system is located and who are authorized to enter the premises at any time, but who do not reside at the premises at which the alarm system is located.
(8) 
Such other information as the form may require.
D. 
The Borough Secretary shall furnish copies of the registration forms to the Fire Chief and Police Chief and receiving agency as appropriate.
E. 
The Fire Chief or Police Chief, as appropriate, shall have the right to inspect and test an alarm system at any time to insure that it is functioning in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and to check such things as, but not limited to, that the information set forth in the registration is accurate; that the proper fire company or police force is dispatched in response to the alarm; and to familiarize himself with the operation of the system and how the appropriate response units will be notified.
F. 
The Borough Secretary shall, within five business days from receipt of an application for registration of an alarm system, either approve the application or notify the applicant in writing that his application has not been approved and the reason or reasons for such disapproval. An application may be disapproved if the fee required by §57-5 of this chapter is not paid or the application contains misrepresentations or false statements or does not comply with § 57-4C, or the operation of the alarm system does not comply with § 57-9 of this chapter. Upon meeting the requirements of this section, the alarm system shall be registered and operation thereof permitted.
G. 
The alarm user or owner of the premises shall be required to notify the Borough Secretary within 10 days of any changes in the information in any application for the registration of an alarm system.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
In order to offset the cost of inspection and administration, a fee as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council shall be charged, payable to Abbottstown Borough, for each alarm system registered pursuant to § 57-4A of this chapter. No fee shall be required for registration filed pursuant to § 57-4B of this chapter.
The obligation for maintenance, repair and upkeep of an alarm system shall be the full responsibility of the person who shall, from time to time, have control of the building, structure or facility where the alarm system is located.
Except as provided in § 57-4D of this chapter, all information submitted in compliance with this chapter shall be kept in confidence and shall be deemed a confidential record except from discovery to the extent permitted by law.
It shall be unlawful for any person, whether or not an alarm system owner or user, to cause a false fire alarm resulting in the dispatch of any Fire Company as a result of a test or work on an automatic fire system without prior notification of the Fire Chief that such a test or work will be conducted or undertaken.
Any alarm system, except sprinkler system water flow bells, that is audible off the premises shall be equipped with an automatic cutoff to silence the audible alarm after 15 minutes.
A. 
If an alarm system shall create more than three false alarms in any calendar year, except as provided in § 57-10C of this section, the Police Chief or Fire Chief, as the case may be, shall notify the owner and user of the system of the fact and that any further false alarms shall result in the imposition of a fee for answering such alarms as provided in § 57-10B of this section. Such notice shall be given by mailing a certified letter, return receipt requested, or by personal service to the owner and user of record as registered pursuant to § 57-4 of this chapter.
B. 
There is hereby imposed a fee for response to false alarms, except as provided in § 57-10C of this section, in excess of three in any calendar year. For the fourth and each succeeding false alarm thereafter, the fees imposed shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council. This fee is imposed whether the false alarm is received automatically through the alarm system or by any other means.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
C. 
In the case of a false alarm received as a result of a particular automatic fire alarm device being connected directly into the alarm system, the Fire Chief shall notify the owner and user of that fact and that any further false alarms from the same defect shall result in the imposition of a fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council. Such notice shall be given by mailing a certified letter, return receipt requested, or by personal service to the owner and user as registered pursuant to § 57-4 of this chapter.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
D. 
The Borough may revoke the registration of said system issued pursuant to § 57-4 of this chapter if the fees imposed by this section are not paid within 30 days of their imposition or if the owner fails to take necessary corrective measures to abate an excessive number of false alarms. An owner or user may reapply for registration at any time after revocation, provided that he can show that the system is now in compliance with the chapter and that all fees imposed hereunder have been paid.
E. 
If the alarm system shall transmit more than three false alarms in any calendar year, the Police Chief or Fire Chief, as the case may be, shall have the right to inspect such system to determine whether it is being used in conformity with the terms of the permit and the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Any person who shall violate the provisions of this chapter, including the failure to pay the fee imposed by § 57-10B and C or operating a system without registration pursuant to § 57-4A or 57-10D, or creating a false fire alarm pursuant to § 57-8 shall, upon conviction before a Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus the costs of prosecution for each such violation and, in default of payment, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
B. 
In addition to the penalty provided for in § 57-11A of this chapter, Abbottstown Borough shall have the right to file a municipal lien, pursuant to the provision of the Municipal Lien Law,[1]for any unpaid fee imposed pursuant to § 57-10B or C of this chapter upon the real estate on which such alarm system is located.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq.
C. 
Abbottstown Borough shall also have the right to institute a civil action against the owner and user to collect any fees imposed by this chapter that remain unpaid after 30 days of receipt of notice of such imposition plus costs of suit and penalty of 10% per annum on the unpaid balance.
This chapter shall not create liability on the part of Abbottstown Borough or any official or employee thereof for any damages that result from reliance on this chapter or any registration required hereunder or on any administrative decision lawfully made hereunder, nor shall this chapter create any liability or responsibility to maintain or inspect any alarm system or to respond to any alarms communicated to the appropriate agency.