CHAPTER 17.
ALARM SYSTEMS

Sections:

5-17.01    Definitions

5-17.02    Alarm System Requirements

5-17.03    Alarm System Permit Required

5-17.04    Automatic Dialing Devices

5-17.05    Back-up Power Supply

5-17.06    False Alarms: Prohibition and Penalties

5-17.01 Definitions.

(a)    “Alarm system” shall mean an assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which the Police Department is expected to respond. Alarm system does not include:

(1)    Devices which do not emit an audible signal, flashing lights, or a beacon, or other signals perceived outside the premises; and

(2)    Residential and motor vehicle alarm systems.

(b)    “Alarm user” shall mean any person who owns, leases, is the agent of, or who otherwise operates or has control over a premises on which an alarm system is installed.

(c)    “False alarm” shall mean activation of an alarm system that results in a response by the Police Department when no hazard exists or can be detected by the Police Department. False alarms do not include alarms activated by hurricanes, earthquakes, acts of God, and other violent acts of nature included in the definition of force majeure.

(1)    For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of Section 5-17.06, no more than one (1) violation shall be counted in a twenty-four (24) hour period, regardless the actual number of false alarms emanating from a specific site.

(d)    “Premises” shall mean any land and buildings located within the City of Emeryville, except property owned, rented, or leased by the Federal government, State of California, County of Alameda, Emery School District, or the City.

(Sec. 3, Ord. 88-013, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; as amended by Sec. 2, Ord. 89-018, eff. Dec. 21, 1989)

5-17.02 Alarm System Requirements.

(a)    Upon the effective date of this article, it shall be unlawful to install or operate an audible alarm system that emits a sound similar to the sound emitted by systems used on emergency vehicles or in civil defense operations.

(b)    It shall be unlawful to install or operate an audible alarm system that does not shut off automatically within fifteen (15) minutes from the time of activation.

(c)    Upon the effective date of this article, every owner or occupant of a commercial premises on which an audible alarm system is installed, shall affix a notice to the premises that contains the name, address, and telephone number of at least one (1) of the following: the firm or person responsible for servicing the alarm system, the building manager, or another person authorized to deactivate the system. Such notice shall be legible from the ground floor of the premises.

(Sec. 3, Ord. 88-013, eff. Jan. 1, 1989)

5-17.03 Alarm System Permit Required.

(a)    It shall be unlawful to install and operate an alarm system on premises without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Police Department, pursuant to the provisions of this article.

(b)    An alarm user shall file an application with the Chief of Police, on a form furnished by the Police Department, setting forth the following information:

(1)    The name and address of the alarm user and agent; or

(2)    The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the agents or other parties responsible for the installation and maintenance of the alarm system.

(c)    The application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee, the amount of which shall be as set forth in the Master Fee Schedule, Chapter 7 of Title 3 of this Code.

(d)    The Police Chief shall issue an alarm system permit to the alarm user within thirty (30) days of its receipt if the Police Chief finds upon investigation that:

(1)    An accurate and complete application has been filed; and

(2)    The application fee has been paid.

(e)    The Police Chief may deny the application if it is inaccurate or incomplete.

(f)    The Police Chief may revoke an alarm user permit if it is determined and found thereafter that the application was inaccurate or that the alarm user failed to keep current the permit information, as set forth in subsection (g) of this section.

(g)    An alarm user shall notify the Police Chief in writing of any change of information on the permit within ten (10) days of the event necessitating the change of information.

(h)    Any application denial or permit revocation may be appealed to the City Council pursuant to the provisions of Article 4 of Title 1 of this Code.

(Sec. 3, Ord. 88-013, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; as amended by Sec. 15, Ord. 89-006, eff. May 18, 1989)

5-17.04 Automatic Dialing Devices.

Automatic dialing devices, which are devices that electronically dial and signal programmed information, shall not transmit to any Police Department telephone lines or other dispatch system maintained by that department.

(Sec. 3, Ord. 88-013, eff. Jan. 1, 1989)

5-17.05 Back-up Power Supply.

An alarm system installed after the effective date of this article shall have an approved back-up power supply that shall assure proper operation of the alarm system in the event of an interruption of its primary power supply.

Alarm users who have installed alarm systems prior to the effective date of this article shall have until January 1, 1990 to install an approved back-up power supply.

(Sec. 3, Ord. 88-013, eff. Jan. 1, 1989)

5-17.06 False Alarms: Prohibition and Penalties.

(a)    It shall be unlawful for any alarm user to operate an alarm system without a City of Emeryville alarm permit.

(b)    It shall be unlawful for any alarm user to operate an alarm system which repeatedly emits false alarms.

(c)    False alarms in violation of Section 5-17.06(b) shall subject the alarm user to fines as set forth below, provided that for purposes of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), the interval between the false alarms must be at least twenty-four (24) hours; more than one (1) false signal within the twenty-four (24) hour interval shall constitute one (1) false alarm:

(1)    Three (3) false alarms within a one hundred twenty (120) day period: fifty dollars ($50.00);

(2)    Four (4) false alarms within a one hundred twenty (120) day period: seventy-five dollars ($75.00);

(3)    Five (5) false alarms and each false alarm thereafter within a one hundred twenty (120) day period: one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each false alarm as a separate infraction.

(d)    Failure to obtain an alarm permit pursuant to Section 5-17.06(a), shall subject the responsible alarm user to a fine in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00).

(e)    The Police Department will notify in writing the alarm user of the first two (2) false alarms at the premises. Deposit of such notice in the mail, first class postage prepaid, shall be deemed adequate notice for purposes of this section.

(Sec. 3, Ord. 88-013, eff. Jan. 1, 1989; as amended by Sec. 2, Ord. 89-018, eff. Jan. 1, 1990)