Chapter 2.134

 

ALARM SYSTEMS

 

Sections:

 

2.134.01                    Purpose

2.134.02                    Scope

2.134.03                    Definitions

2.134.04                    Registration Required; Application Fees

2.134.05                    Registration Duration and Renewal

2.134.06                    Duties of Alarm User

2.134.07                    Duties of Alarm Company

2.134.08                    Inspections

2.134.09                    Fines

2.134.10                    Severability

2.134.11                    Effective Date

 

 

2.134.01            Purpose

 

The purpose of this ordinance is to provide standards and regulations and various types of intrusion, burglar, fire and other alarm devices requiring response thereto by the Police Department, Fire Department or other municipal agencies of the Borough of Englishtown.

 

2.134.02            Scope

 

The provisions of this ordinance shall apply to any person who operates, maintains or owns any alarm system situated in the Borough of Englishtown having an audible signaling device or requiring a response by the Police Department, Fire Department or other municipal agency of the Borough of Englishtown.  The terms of this ordinance shall in no way prohibit alarm companies from providing service by private source to other offices within or without the Borough of Englishtown, so long as such activity is not connected to the alarm console; except, however, that any person having a premises protected by an alarm system shall still be responsible for the registrations thereof in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.

 

2.134.03            Definitions

 

As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

 

ALARM SYSTEM – Any console alarm, dial alarm, local alarm or computer monitored alarm.

 

ALARM DISPATCH REQUEST – A notification to the Police Department that an alarm, either manual or automatic has been activated at a particular alarm site.

 

ALARM REGISTRATION – The notification by an Alarm Company or an Alarm User to the Borough Clerk that an Alarm System has been installed and is requesting authorization to activate the Alarm System.

 

ALARM SITE – A single fixed premises or location served by an Alarm System or systems.  Each tenancy, if served by a separate Alarm System in a multifamily building or complex shall be considered a separate Alarm Site.

 

ALARM SYSTEM – A device or series of devices, including but not limited to, systems interconnected with a radio frequency method such as cellular or private radio signals, which emit or transmit a remote or local audible, visual or electronic signal indicating an alarm condition and intended to summon law enforcement service of the Borough, including Local Alarm systems.  Alarm System does not include a system installed on a vehicle of Person unless the vehicle or Personal alarm is permanently located at a site.

 

ALARM USER – Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity, which uses or is in control of any Alarm System at its Alarm Site.

 

AUTOMATIC VOICE DIALER – Any electrical, electronic, mechanical or other device capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded voice message, when activated, over a telephone line or other communication system, to a law enforcement agency.

 

CALENDAR YEAR – The period of time, commencing January 1st and ending December 31st of any given year.

 

CANCELLATION – Responding Agency Alarm dispatch cancellation is the process by which an alarm company providing monitoring verifies with the alarm user or responsible party that a false dispatch has occurred and that there is not an existing situation at the alarm site requiring law enforcement agency response.

 

CONVERSION – The transaction or process by which one Alarm Company begins monitoring of a previously unmonitored alarm system or an alarm system previously monitored by another alarm company.

 

CONSOLE ALARM – Any type of alarm device actuating equipment in the alarm console providing warning of intrusion, fire smoke, flood or other peril.

 

DURESS ALARM – A silent alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening situation or crime in progress requiring law enforcement response.

 

FALSE ALARM – An alarm dispatch request to a law enforcement agency, when the responding officer finds no evidence of a criminal offense after having completed a timely investigation of the alarm site.  Includes any alarm activated by inadvertence, negligence or the unintentional act of someone other than an intruder, and includes, as well, alarms caused by the malfunctioning of the alarm device or other relevant equipment.

 

HOLDUP ALARM – A silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress.

 

2.134.04Registration Required; Application Fees

 

A.                 No alarm user shall operate, or cause to be operated an alarm system at its alarm site without a valid alarm registration certificate issued by the Borough Clerk.  A separate registration is required for each alarm site.

 

B.                 There shall be an annual registration fee of $15.00 for residential alarm sites and $35.00 for commercial alarm sites.  No refund of a registration or registration renewal fee will be made.  The full annual registration fee must be submitted to the Borough Clerk within five (5) days after the alarm installation or alarm takeover regardless of what month the alarm is registered.

 

C.                 Upon receipt of a completed application form and the alarm registration fee, the Borough Clerk shall register the application unless the applicant has:

1-     Failed to pay a fine assessed under this ordinance; or

2-     Had an alarm registration for the alarm site suspended or revoked and the violation causing the suspension or revocation has not been corrected.

 

D.        Each alarm registration application must be made on the form provided by the Borough Clerk and must include the following information:

1-     The name, complete address and telephone numbers of the person who will be the registrant and be responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the alarm system and payment of fees assessed under this ordinance;

2-     The classification of the alarm site as either residential, commercial or apartment;

3-     For each alarm system located at the alarm site, the classification of the alarm system, i.e. burglary, holdup, duress, fire or medical alert, for each purpose whether audible or silent;

4-     Mailing address if different from the alarm site;

5-     Any dangerous or special conditions present at the alarm site;

6-     If an alarm system is installed by an individual tenant in an apartment complex unit and is monitored by an alarm company, the tenant shall provide the name, address and phone number of a representative of the apartment owner or property manager who can grant access to the apartment to the alarm company.

7-     All persons responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the alarm, shall in addition to the other requirements of this section, provide a 24 hour point of contact which can be used during vacation periods or business closure.

 

E.         Any alarm user who shall fail or neglect to register an alarm system as required by this ordinance shall be subject to a minimum fine of not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).      (Added 6/1/10, Ord. 2010-06)

 

2.134.05            Registration Duration and Renewal

 

A.           Registration shall expire December 31st of each year and must be renewed annually within thirty days of the registration expiration date by submitting an updated application and registration renewal fee to the Borough Clerk.  It is the responsibility of the Alarm User to submit an application prior to the registration expiration date.  A late fee of $35.00 shall be assessed if the renewal is more than thirty (30) days late.  Failure to renew by March 1st will be classified as a use of a non-registered alarm system and citations and penalties cited in Section 2.134.04E shall be assessed.     (Amended 6/1/10, Ord. 2010-06)

 

B.          Alarm Users who register a new alarm during the calendar year shall pay the full fee for the entire first calendar year regardless of when the alarm is initially registered.

 

C.           A person whose alarm response has been suspended may have alarm response reinstated by the Chief of Police if the person has abided by one or more of the following:

1-     Submits an updated application and registration fee;

2-     Pays, or otherwise resolves all outstanding citations and fines;

3-     Submits a certification from the alarm company that complies with the requirements of this section, stating that the alarm system has been inspected and repaired, if necessary, by the alarm company;

4-     Payment of a reinstatement fee of $50.00

 

And one or more of the following, if applicable:

 

(a)    Submits proof that an employee of the alarm company caused the false alarm.

(b)   Files with the Chief of Police a written statement from a licensed alarm company that the alarm system has been inspected and found to be in good working order or repaired so as to be in good working order.

 

2.134.06            Duties of Alarm User

 

A.           An Alarm User shall:

1-     Maintain the premises and the Alarm System in a manner that will minimize or eliminate False Alarms;

2-     Make every reasonable effort to respond or cause a representative to respond to the alarm system’s location within 30 minutes when notified by the municipality to deactivate a malfunctioning Alarm System, to provide access to the premises, or provide alternative security for the premises;

3-     Not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the Alarm System was intended to report.

  

2.134.07            Duties of Alarm Company

 

A.        Alarm Companies performing monitoring services shall:

1-     Shall instruct their customers on the proper use of the alarm system and shall, after installation, review with the alarm user the proper operation of the alarm system and procedures to prevent false alarms;

2-     Report alarm signals by using telephone numbers designated by the Borough’s Chief of Police;

3-     Attempt to verify every alarm signal, except Duress and Holdup alarm activation before requesting a law enforcement response to an alarm system signal;

4-     Communicate alarm dispatch requests to the Police Department in a manner and form determined by the Chief of Police;

5-     Communicate cancellations to the Police Department in a manner and form determined by the Chief of Police;

6-     Ensure that all alarm users of alarm systems equipped with a duress or holdup alarm are given adequate training as to the proper use of the duress or holdup alarm;

7-     Communicate any available information about the location of the alarm;

8-     Communicate type of alarm activation (i.e. silent or audible, interior or perimeter together with the alarm user’s registration number when requesting dispatch;

9-     Endeavor to contact the alarm user when an alarm dispatch request is made; and

10- Upon enactment of this ordinance alarm companies that perform monitoring services in the Borough of Englishtown must maintain a current list of alarm users within the Borough.  Records must include the name, address and phone number of alarm users, the type and location of the alarm system and the name and addresses and phone number of a contact person in case of an alarm dispatch.

11- Alarm companies shall notify the Police Department prior to any testing of the alarm system installed in any unit, business or residential.

 

2.134.08            Inspections

 

For purposes of enforcing the provisions of this chapter, the Police Department shall have the authority, at reasonable times and upon oral notice, to enter any premises in the Borough to inspect the installation and/or operation of any alarm device or system on official police business.

 

The Chief of Police shall establish procedures for notification of the alarm user of a false alarm.  Options may include, but are not limited to the officer leaving a door hanger or notice at the alarm site.  If a notice is left it shall include the following information:

 

1-     The date and time of law enforcement response to the false alarm;

2-     The identification number of the responding law enforcement officer; and

3-     A statement urging the alarm user to ensure that the alarm system is properly operated, inspected, and serviced in order to avoid false alarms and resulting fines.

 

2.134.09            Fines

 

A.     An alarm user shall be subject to fines, warnings and suspension or revocation of registration depending on the number of false alarms emitted from an alarm system during any consecutive twelve (12) month period based upon the following schedule:

 

Number of False Alarms:                         Fines

 

                        1-2                                                            -0-

3-6                                                           $100.00

6+                                                            $200.00

 

 

B.     The Police Department shall notify the alarm user in writing after the second false alarm, the notification shall include: the amount of the fine for each subsequent false alarm, the fact that response will be suspended after the 6th false alarm.

 

C.     The Chief of Police shall notify the alarm user and the alarm company in writing after the 6th false alarm that alarm response has been suspended.  This notice suspension will also include the amount of the fine for each false alarm.

 

(Amended 6/1/10, Ord. 2010-06)

 

2.134.10            Severability

 

If any Article, section or subsection of this ordinance is, for any reason, held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such provisions shall be deemed severable.

 

2.134.11            Effective Date

 

This ordinance shall take effect upon final passage and after publication as required by law.

 

(Amended 6/1/10, Ord. 2010-06; Added 8/26/09, Ord. 2009-11)