City Of Escondido Alarm Department

Alarm Ordinance

Chapter 6A BURGLARY, ROBBERY, FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS

Note

*     Editor’s note—Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, adopted 5-19-04, repealed and replaced Chapter 6A, as herein set out.

 

Sec. 6A-1. Definitions.

            For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall be construed as set forth in this section:

            Alarm registration means an annual registration application submitted to the city in conjunction with operation of an alarm system, as described in section 6A-3.

            Alarm system means a fire alarm, a robbery alarm, a burglary alarm, or a medical alarm.

            Burglary alarm means: 1) any mechanical or electrical device that is designed to cause or causes a local audible alarm or transmission of a signal in the event of a burglary in progress or of an unauthorized intrusion into a property; 2) an alarm system that sends a signal to a third party who calls the city to report a burglary in progress; and 3) any alarm system that is otherwise used to evoke a police department response.

            False alarm means the accidental or intentional activation of any alarm system through mechanical failure, accidental tripping, misuse, or intentional mischief by any person, when there has been no fire or medical emergency or robbery or burglary in progress on the premises where the alarm system is activated. Upon failure of the police department or fire department to find any evidence of intrusion, fire, or other need or cause for activating an alarm system, a conclusive presumption of false alarm will be made.

            Fire alarm means: 1) any mechanical or electrical device that is designed to cause or causes a local audible alarm or transmission of a message in the event of a fire or excess smoke; 2) an alarm system that sends a signal to a third party who calls the city to report a fire or smoke emergency; and 3) any alarm system that is otherwise used to evoke a fire department response.

            Medical alarm means: 1) any mechanical or electrical device that is designed to cause or causes a local audible alarm or transmission of a signal in the event a person is experiencing or witnessing a medical emergency or other peril to human life; 2) an alarm system that sends a signal to a third party who calls the city to report a medical emergency in progress; and 3) any alarm that is otherwise used to evoke a response from fire or emergency medical personnel.

            Robbery alarm means: 1) any mechanical or electrical device that is designed to cause or causes a local audible alarm or transmission of a signal in the event of a robbery in progress; 2) an alarm system that sends a signal to a third party who calls the city to report a robbery in progress; and 3) any alarm system that is otherwise used to evoke a police department response. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-2. Right to inspect alarm systems.

            The city reserves the right to inspect all alarm systems installed within the city, following reasonable prior notice. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-3. Alarm registration required.

            (a)        No person shall install, maintain, lease, service, repair, alter, replace, move, or use any alarm system without first obtaining an alarm registration approval from the city.

            (b)       The application for an alarm registration shall be accompanied by a fee, which shall be established periodically by resolution of the city council.

            (c)        An alarm registration shall remain valid for the city’s fiscal year, unless revoked, suspended, or withdrawn by the user. The registration application must describe the alarm location, type of alarm system, type of response expected from city personnel, the name of the property owner or

user, and contact information for the business or property owner, listing one (1) responsible persons. In the event any of the registration information changes during the year of its validity, the applicant shall supply the changes to the city within five (5) days of the change.

            (d)       One of the contact persons listed in the alarm registration shall be required, if notified and requested by the city, to be present at the alarm location within thirty (30) minutes after being advised that the city’s dispatch center has received any signal or message of alarm system activation.

            (e)        A separate alarm registration is required for each building or facility which contains an alarm system that could evoke an emergency response.

            (f)        An alarm registration is not transferable to a new owner upon sale or transfer of an alarm location which has an existing alarm registration. However, no new fee shall be collected upon transfer, until the annual fee is due during the next fiscal year.

            (g)       No alarm registration will be required for a personal medical alert system. A personal medical alert system is a small medallion or handheld device that is worn on the person or carried with the person, and intended to be used in the event of an emergency.

            (h)       An alarm registration that is issued to correct a suspension order, described in section 6A-5 of this chapter, may include a requirement that the alarm system owner or operator post additional security for the new alarm registration. (Ord. No. 2005-11, § 1, 6-1-05)

Sec. 6A-4. False alarm prevention fee.

            (a)        When an alarm system activation is determined to be a false alarm, as defined by this chapter, the owner of the alarm system must pay a false alarm prevention fee to the city within the time specified in a notice from the city to the owner.

            (b)       The amount of the false alarm prevention fee shall be established periodically by resolution of the city council, and shall take into account the number of times an alarm system has caused a false alarm within the fiscal year alarm permit period, the type of alarm system, the nature of the required city response, the size or character of operations of the property where the alarm system is located, and any other factor the city council deems reasonable in preventing false alarms.

            (c)        Where an alarm system owner or operator uses a third party to administer the alarm system or to administer the feature which alerts the city of the activation of the alarm, the alarm system owner or operator and the third party shall be jointly and severally responsible for payment of any false alarm fee.

            (d)       A reasonable penalty shall be added to any false alarm bill which is not paid on time. In addition to the penalty imposed, any person who fails to pay a bill in full shall pay interest and collection fees consistent with city ordinances. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-5. Suspension of response and privilege to use alarm system.

            (a)        Unless otherwise precluded by state or local law, the city may suspend the use of an alarm system for the remainder of the alarm registration period if the owner or operator of an alarm system has violated any provision of this chapter.

            (b)       Upon suspension of an alarm system for any reason, the city must serve the owner or operator with a written suspension order, which shall state the reason(s) for such suspension. The order shall be effective immediately if personally served, or seventy-two (72) hours after the same has been deposited by certified mail in any branch of the United States post office, addressed to the owner or operator of such alarm system at the address where the alarm system is located.

            (c)        Immediately upon the effective date of a suspension order, the owner or operator shall discontinue the use of the alarm system. Except where prohibited by state or local law, the city shall cease responding to the alarm system that is the subject of a suspension order.

            (d)       An alarm system that has been suspended shall not be reactivated until the owner or operator has received an alarm registration approval from the city. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-6. Appeals.

            Within fifteen (15) days from the effective date of any suspension order, any person disputing the suspension of an alarm system may appeal the decision to the city’s building advisory and appeals board. The suspension shall remain in effect pending the appeal. Such appeal shall be filed with the city clerk in writing, and shall set forth the basis of the appeal. The building advisory and appeals board shall consider the appeal within a reasonable time after it is filed. Notice of the appeal date shall be provided to all parties at least ten (10) days in advance of the date on which the appeal is considered. The building advisory and appeals board may affirm, overrule, or modify the suspension order. The decision of the building advisory and appeals board shall be final. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-7. Automatic shut-off requirements.

            With the exception of fire alarms, all alarm systems which create an audible sound on the premises must cease making such sound after twenty (20) minutes. A violation of this section shall be enforceable under this chapter, under applicable noise ordinances of the Escondido Municipal Code, and under applicable state law. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-8. Fees.

            Fees prescribed in this chapter shall be in addition to any other lawful fees imposed by the City of Escondido for doing or conducting business with the City of Escondido. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-9. Limitation on liability.

            The City of Escondido is under no obligation or duty to any owner or operator of an alarm system or any other person by reason of any provision of this chapter, or the exercise of any privilege by any owner or operator of an alarm system, including, but not limited to, any defects in an alarm system, any delay in transmission of an alarm message to any emergency unit, or any damage caused by non-response or in responding to any alarm system by any city officer, employee or agent. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-10. Severability of provisions.

            If any provision of this chapter is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter, and the city council declares that each provision is severable and that it would have adopted each provision which is not found to be invalid irrespective of the fact that any one or more provisions are declared invalid or unconstitutional. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-11. State fire marshal standards and regulations.

            Fire alarms shall be certified by the state fire marshal, or certified as otherwise required by law. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-12. Criminal penalties.

            Any person who violates any provision of sections 6A-3 through 6A-5 of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during which any violation is committed or allowed to continue by such person. (Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)

Sec. 6A-13—6A-18. Reserved.

(Ord. No. 2004-12, § 1, 5-19-04)