Chapter 5-04


5-04.010    Administrative fees.

5-04.020    Fire alarm systems—Definitions.

5-04.030    Alarm systems, standards, and regulations.

5-04.040    Central station permit.

5-04.050    Automatic communication devices.

5-04.060    Responsibilities of alarm businesses and alarm system subscribers or users.

5-04.070    Intentional false alarms and penalties.

5-04.080    Tampering with or damaging alarm systems.

5-04.090    Violations and enforcement.

5-04.010 Administrative fees.

The City Council may establish by resolution, an administrative fee for the processing and collection of fire services fees for the Orange County Fire Authority. (Prior code § 6-20.010)

5-04.020 Fire alarm systems—Definitions.

“Alarm” means the giving, signaling, or transmission to the Fire Department, its stations, its companies, or any officer or employee thereof, whether by telephone, spoken word, or otherwise, an indication or information to the effect that there is a fire or other emergency at or near the place indicated by the person, devices, or system giving, signaling, or transmitting such information.

“Alarm business” means the work, occupation, or profession of any person who performs, authorizes, directs, or causes the selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, inspection, repairing, altering, replacement, moving, or installing of any alarm system, including any business that monitors alarms.

“Alarm subscriber” means any person who purchases, leases, contracts for, or otherwise obtains an alarm system or the servicing or maintenance of an alarm system.

“Alarm system” means any manual, mechanical or electrically operated circuits, instruments, and/or devices, which when activated, emit a sound or transmit alarms, a message, and/or trouble signals for the protection of life and property from heat, smoke, fire, hazardous materials, or medical emergency. Provided, however; that this definition shall not include domestic smoke, fire, or burglar alarm devices whose primary purpose is to awaken or alert persons on the premises and that emit a light or sound only within the protected premises.

“Automatic communication device” means any electrical, electronic, or mechanical device capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded message, when activated, over a telephone line or dedicated circuit to a central station.

“Central station” means an office where remote and supervisory signaling circuits are connected and where personnel are in attendance at all times to supervise the circuits and investigate signals.

“Direct alarm system” means an alarm system electrically or otherwise connected directly to the emergency response agency from the protected premises.

“False alarm” means an alarm necessitating response by the Fire Department where an emergency situation does not exist. This shall include mechanical failure, accidental tripping, misoperation, malfunction, misuse, or neglect of an alarm system.

“Fire department” means the Orange County Fire Authority. “Fire Department” includes and also means the Emergency Response Agency.

“Person” means any individual, occupant, business owner, partnership, corporation, or other entity. (Prior code § 6-20.020)

5-04.030 Alarm systems, standards, and regulations.

All alarm systems shall meet or exceed the standards established by the Fire Department National Fire Protection Association Codes 72A and 72C and other relative regulations as may be adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. All alarm systems, equipment, installations and repairs, and all fire and other emergency drills shall comply with rules and regulations promulgated by the Emergency Response Agency or the Fire Department regulating the times and conditions that such installations, repairs, tests, or drills, may be made. All audible alarm systems shall, after activation, limit the generation of the audible sound to a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes when the system is protecting residential premises and thirty (30) minutes when an alarm is protecting any other premises. This limitation shall be incorporated into the equipment at the protected premises. Said systems may include an automatic resetting device causing the alarm system to rearm upon automatic shut-off. The director or designee of the Fire Department may exempt any alarm system, or kind, or type of alarm system, from any or all of the requirements of this chapter if, in his or her opinion, such system does not create a substantial danger of generating false alarms necessitating a response by an Emergency Response Agency or the Fire Department. (Prior code § 6-20.030)

5-04.040 Central station permit.

All central stations or any business receiving signals that an emergency exists at protected premises, and transmits that information to the Emergency Response Agency of the Fire Department, shall be required to have a permit from the Fire Department that shall be renewed annually. (Prior code § 6-20.040)

5-04.050 Automatic communication devices.

A.    No automatic communication device shall be programmed to the “911” emergency line.

B.    Direct alarm systems shall not be connected to an Emergency Response Agency or the Fire Department except with permission of the Emergency Response Agency or said Department.

C.    No person shall lease, maintain, install, or use any alarm system that automatically direct dials the telephone number of the Fire Department.

(Prior code § 6-20.050)

5-04.060 Responsibilities of alarm businesses and alarm system subscribers or users.

A.    Each alarm business shall provide accurate and complete instructions to the alarm system user in the proper use and operation of said system that is provided to the user by that business or is monitored by that business. Specific emphasis shall be placed on the avoidance of false alarms.

B.    The alarm subscriber or user shall maintain the alarm system and equipment in proper working order at all times.

C.    When an alarm system has been activated for an alarm subscriber, the alarm business or central station shall arrange for a representative to have the ability to be present at the location of the alarm within one hour after being requested by the Fire Department. The use of an alarm system that is not connected to an alarm business or central station shall designate a person available to respond to the protected property within one hour after being requested by the Fire Department.

(Prior code § 6-20.060)

5-04.070 Intentional false alarms and penalties.

No person shall intentionally initiate a false alarm except for purposes of testing an alarm system and then only if made in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Fire Department therefor and after having given the Emergency Response Agency or the Fire Department prior notice thereof. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall by also subject to such other penalties prescribed by law. (Prior code § 6-20.070)

5-04.080 Tampering with or damaging alarm systems.

It is unlawful for any person to tamper with, render inoperative, or maliciously damage any alarm system maintained for the purpose of sounding or transmitting alarms except alarm systems undergoing approved maintenance or repairs. (Prior code § 6-20.080)

5-04.090 Violations and enforcement.

Violations of this chapter shall be an infraction unless otherwise noted herein. This chapter may be enforced by the city of Laguna Hills and the county Fire Department. (Prior code § 6-20.090)