Chapter 9.10


9.10.010    Purpose.

9.10.020    Definitions.

9.10.030    Chapter exemptions.

9.10.040    Alarm business permit and city business license--Required.

9.10.050    State of California--Alarm business permit.

9.10.060    Alarm agent permit--Required when.

9.10.070    Proprietor alarm--Requirements.

9.10.080    Automatic calling device--Prohibited.

9.10.100    Revocation of permit or removal of alarm system.

9.10.110    Response to request for service.

9.10.120    Installation.

9.10.130    Audible alarm standards for cessation of audible alarms.

9.10.140    Repair.

9.10.150    Audible alarms similar to sirens prohibited.

9.10.160    Alarm systems which constitute a hazard to responding public safety officers.

9.10.170    Permit for alarm system required.

9.10.180    Application--Investigation and denial.

9.10.190    Duration of permit.

9.10.200    Permit requirements for existing alarm systems.

9.10.210    Notice of repair.

9.10.220    Notice of false alarm.

9.10.230    Notice of change.

9.10.240    False alarm charges.

9.10.010 Purpose.

This chapter is adopted to promote Public safety and general public welfare, and specifically to:

A.    Provide uniform regulation for the installation, maintenance and repair of private intrusion alarm systems;

B.    Minimize the instances of false alarms resulting from varying installation practices, malfunctioning and repair policies;

C.    Provide centralized control and supervision of private intrusion alarm systems;

D.    Establish policies for the training and education of personnel responsible for the maintenance and repair of private intrusion systems.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and phrases used herein are defined as follows:

A.    “Alarm agent” means any person who is employed by an alarm business, either directly or indirectly, whose duties include any of the following:  selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing on or in any building, structure, or facility, any alarm system within the

B.    “Alarm business” means any business engaged in selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, removing or installing any alarm system, or causing to be sold, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, or removed in or on any building, place or premises.

C.    “Alarm system” means any device designed for the detection of smoke and/or heat, or of an unauthorized intrusion upon premises or the commission of an unlawful act or both and when activated emits a sound, transmits a sound or transmits a signal or message.

D.    “Audible alarm” means any device which, when activated, generates an audible sound on the premises.

E.    “Automatic calling device” means any device or combination of devices that will, upon activation, either mechanically, electronically or by other automatic means, initiate an intrastate call and deliver a recorded message to any telephone subscriber.

F.    “City” means the city of Half Moon Bay.

G.    “Chief of police” means the chief of police of Half Moon Bay or his designee.

H.    “Days” means calendar days.

I.    “Department” means the Half Moon Bay police department.

J.    “False alarm” means an alarm signal necessitating a response by the Half Moon Bay police department when an emergency does not exist, but does not include an alarm signal caused by violent conditions of nature not reasonably subject to control by the alarm business, operator or alarm user.  The chief of police or the fire chief shall evaluate whether an emergency did exist.

K.    “Notice” means written notice, given by personal service upon the addressee, or given by United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified at his last known address.  Service of such notice shall be effective upon the completion of personal service, or upon the placing of the same in the custody of the United States Postal Service.

L.    “Permittee” means the person to whom an alarm business permit is issued by the state of California, Department of Consumer Affairs.

M.    “Person” means any individual, partnership, corporation or other entity.

N.    “Proprietor alarm” means an alarm which is not serviced by an alarm business.

O.    “Silent alarm” means that type of alarm system which when activated sounds a bell or buzzer or turns on a light at a predesignated place other than the location where the alarm has been installed.

P.    “Subscriber” means any person who purchases, leases, contracts or otherwise obtains an alarm system or any service from an alarm business.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.030 Chapter exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to audible alarms affixed to automobiles.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.040 Alarm business permit and city business license--Required.

No person shall engage in conduct or carry on an alarm business without first applying for and receiving a permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of the Department of Consumer Affairs.  All persons conducting an alarm business within the city shall apply to the license collector and obtain the necessary business license.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.050 State of California--Alarm business permit.

Each permittee to whom a permit is issued by the state shall comply with the following conditions:

A.    Each permittee shall provide the chief of police with the address of each building, place or premises within this city for which the permittee sells or installs an alarm system, together with the name, address and telephone number of three responsible people who can deactivate the alarm and secure each building, place or premises.

B.    Permittees contracting with a subscriber for a supervised silent alarm shall, upon the alarm being activated, immediately notify the department by the emergency telephone number.

C.    Each permittee using a telephone answering service for the purpose of monitoring silent alarms for their subscribers shall submit the name, address and telephone number of such service within ten calendar days of the day such service commences.

D.    Each permittee that installs or services an alarm system shall clearly instruct the subscriber in the proper use and operation of the alarm system especially in those factors which can cause false alarms.

E.    Each permittee servicing an alarm system shall respond to service each alarm within twenty-four hours after the permittee has been notified by the subscriber or the city that an alarm system has malfunctioned.

F.    Each permittee shall display to the chief of police, when requested, permittee’s record of inspection or repair of any subscriber’s installed alarm system.

G.    Each permittee shall notify the department whenever a subscriber’s alarm system is under service or repair where in the process of such service or repair the system may be activated causing a response.

H.    Each alarm system sold, leased, maintained, serviced or installed by a permittee that operates on commercial current must be equipped with a separate, four-hour minimum energy supply, such as battery storage.

I.    Alarm equipment sold, leased, maintained or serviced by a permittee shall be approved by the chief of police.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.060 Alarm agent permit--Required when.

Every person engaged in the business of making, selling, repairing, servicing, altering, replacing, removing or installing an alarm system shall carry upon his person, at all times, while so engaged, a valid alarm agent permit issued by the state, and shall display such permit to any police officer upon request.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.070 Proprietor alarm--Requirements.

B.    The owner of any proprietor alarm shall be responsible for deactivating any alarm within one hour after notification that such alarm has been activated and is ringing.  The ringing of an alarm for a period in excess of one hour after such notification or efforts of notification have been made is a public nuisance.

C.    Every person owning or maintaining an exterior proprietor alarm shall post a notice containing the name and telephone number of the person to be notified to render repairs or service during any hour of the day or night the alarm rings.  Such notice shall be posted near the alarm in such a position as to be legible from the ground level adjacent to the building.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993; Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.080 Automatic calling device--Prohibited.

No person shall use or cause to be used any telephone device or telephone attachment that automatically selects a public telephone trunk line of the city and then reproduces any prerecorded message to report any burglary, fire or other emergency, except as directed by the chief of police.

A.    Any persons wishing to obtain a private secondary phone line terminating at the police dispatching center shall submit an application in writing to the chief of police.  Such application shall contain an agreement to comply with the conditions hereof.  The chief of police shall approve such application if the following conditions are met:

1.    The termination of the secondary phone line constitutes no hindrance to regular town activities;

2.    All costs of installation and maintenance of such telephone lines shall be borne by the person requesting the terminating phone line;

3.    The person requesting the terminating phone line shall maintain adequate equipment and service personnel to maintain or otherwise service alarms sold or leased by him;

4.    The person requesting the terminating phone line shall make adequate provisions for testing of equipment and prevention of false alarms.

B.    All costs and recurring charges incurred in the installation and maintenance of such secondary telephone lines shall be borne by the person requesting the terminating phone line.  (Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.100 Revocation of permit or removal of alarm system.

In addition to any remedy provided by law, the chief of police may, whenever he shall have knowledge of the use of any device or attachment not operated or maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or for failure to comply with the conditions hereof, order the removal of such device or attachment or such phone line termination to which such device or attachment is connected, within thirty days of such findings.  The chief of police may revoke any license issued hereunder for failure to comply with the conditions hereof.  A decision of the chief of police pursuant to this section may be appealed to the city council in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 1.25.  On appeal, the same standards established hereby for decision by the chief of police shall apply.  (Ord. C-7-08 §7, 2008:  Ord. 14-81 §1(part), 1981).

9.10.110 Response to request for service.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, pursuant to Government Code Section 845, the Half Moon Bay police department shall not refuse to respond to a request for service via a burglar alarm system or an alarm company referral service solely on the basis that a permit from the city has not been obtained.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.120 Installation.

All unmonitored alarm systems other than fire alarm systems sold, leased, contracted for or otherwise maintained and operated by any person within the city shall be installed in accordance with all applicable standards and requirements of the building codes and other applicable established standards as required by the city.  All alarm systems shall be equipped with an uninterruptible power supply or installed in such a manner that the failure or interruption of normal electrical utility power shall not activate the alarm system.  Such power supply shall be capable of at least four hours of operation.  The chief of police may inspect and/or approve all alarm systems installed within the city at the chief’s discretion during usual business hours.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.130 Audible alarm standards for cessation of audible alarms.

A.    Every person maintaining an audible alarm shall post a notice containing the name and telephone numbers of the persons to be notified to render repair or service and secure the premises during any hour of the day or night which the alarm system is activated.  Such notice shall be posted near the alarm in such a position as to be legible from the ground level adjacent to the building structure or other facility where the alarm system is located.

B.    Any and all audible alarm systems shall be installed or activated to automatically cease transmitting the audible signal within ten minutes.

C.    Upon request of a city police officer, a user or his or her designated representative shall respond within one hour to the premises whereon the alarm system is located.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.140 Repair.

After any false alarm caused by a mechanical malfunction of the alarm system, the user shall cause the alarm system to be repaired so as to eliminate such malfunction before reactivating the alarm.  A person shall not reactivate such alarm until such repairs have been made.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.150 Audible alarms similar to sirens prohibited.

It is unlawful to install on the exterior or interior of a building an intrusion detective device or alarm system which upon activation emits a sound exceeding eighty decibels (when measured from outside the premises), which is similar to sirens in use on emergency vehicles or for civil defense purposes.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.160 Alarm systems which constitute a hazard to responding public safety officers.

No person shall operate or permit an alarm system to be operated which, due to the nature of its construction, installation and/or location, constitutes an unreasonable hazard to life and limb of responding public safety officers, as determined by the chief of police.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.170 Permit for alarm system required.

It shall be unlawful for any alarm system to be installed, possessed, operated, used, serviced or maintained without a valid, unrevoked and unexpired permit therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or for an alarm business or alarm agent to make operable, service, maintain or repair an alarm system for a user unless such user has obtained a valid, unrevoked and unexpired permit from the city.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.180 Application--Investigation and denial.

A.    Processing--Grounds for Denial.  An application for a permit shall be processed in a timely manner.  The permit may be denied by the chief of police on the following grounds:

1.    The alarm system is deficient in that it does not comply with standard rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter and/or results in excessive false alarms as defined by such rules and regulations; or

2.    The applicant, his or her employee or agent has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for a permit, or in any report or record required to be filed with any agency; or

3.    That the applicant has had a similar type of permit previously revoked for good cause within the past year unless the applicant can show a material change in circumstances since the date of revocation; permits shall be issued to the user; or

4.    The violation of any of the provisions of the chapter.

B.    Procedure.  The chief of police shall inform the applicant in writing of the denial stating the reasons for such denial.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.190 Duration of permit.

Permits issued pursuant to this chapter shall be renewed annually after issuance.  Applications for renewals of permits shall be processed in the same manner as applications for the initial permit.  Initial issuance of a permit or transfer of a permit shall be valid until the annual renewal period which shall be July 1st of each subsequent year.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.200 Permit requirements for existing alarm systems.

No person shall maintain or continue to operate any alarm system which was installed prior to July 1, 1993 unless such person has obtained an alarm system permit as required by this chapter on or before July 1, 1994.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.210 Notice of repair.

The alarm business, alarm agent, user or permittee shall notify the police dispatcher of the city prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance adjustment or installation which might activate a false alarm on a particular alarm system.  No subsequent recording of a “false alarm” for the purpose of charging for a police response shall occur if the police dispatcher has been appropriately notified of the repair period.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.220 Notice of false alarm.

Users of any alarm who set off a false alarm shall inform the police dispatcher of the error as soon as the user has knowledge of such false alarm.  Permittee may avoid charges for a false alarm if the police dispatcher is notified prior to the actual dispatching of police units.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.230 Notice of change.

Whenever any change occurs relating to the written information required by this chapter, the applicant or permittee shall give written notice thereof to the department within ten days after such change or at any hearing conducted under this chapter, if such hearing is conducted before the notice has been given.  The applicant or permittee is solely responsible for the correctness of the information submitted to the police department.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).

9.10.240 False alarm charges.

The operator of a business or occupant of a residential premises shall pay such charges as may be assessed by the city for false alarms.  Such charges and permit fees shall be established by resolution of the city council.  False alarms emanating from alarm systems which do not have a current permit under this chapter shall pay a civil penalty of fifty dollars for each such false alarm, in addition to any other chapter required.  (Ord. 7-93 §1(part), 1993).