Chapter 5-52


5-52.010    Purpose.

5-52.020    Definitions.

5-52.030    Direct dial telephone devices.

5-52.040    Direct alarms.

5-52.050    Responsibilities of alarm system subscribers.

5-52.060    Automatic shut-off requirements – Audible alarms.

5-52.070    False alarms – Prevention and reimbursement of costs.

5-52.080    Intentional false alarms – Penalties – Reimbursement of costs.

5-52.010 Purpose.

The city of Laguna Hills contracts with the Orange County Sheriff for law enforcement and public safety services. As a contract-partner city, the city participates in the Sheriff-Coroner’s false alarm fee program, which establishes a fee for the Sheriff-Coroner’s response to three and subsequent false alarms at the same residence or business in a calendar year and for intentionally initiated false alarms. The city’s participation in the Sheriff-Coroner’s false alarm fee program authorizes the Sheriff-Coroner to collect the false alarm fee and credit the city for the amount of fees collected in accordance with the city’s law enforcement services contract with the county of Orange. The collection of the false alarm fee allows the city to recover costs associated with responding to residential and commercial false alarms, while providing an incentive to property owners to properly maintain and monitor their security alarm systems. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.020 Definitions.

Wherever used within this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning set forth below:

“Alarm agency” means any person who is employed by an alarm business, whether directly or indirectly, whose duties include any of the following: selling; maintaining; leasing; servicing; repairing; altering; replacing; moving; installing; or monitoring any alarm system on any building, place, or premises.

“Alarm business” means any person, firm, or corporation engaged in selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, installing, or monitoring any alarm system or causing to be sold, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved, installed, or monitored any alarm system in or on any building, place, or premises.

“Alarm subscriber” means any person contracting with an alarm business for the leasing, servicing, or maintaining of an alarm system, or who owns, uses, or maintains a proprietor alarm.

“Alarm system” means any electronic device designed for the detection of an unauthorized entry on premises, or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act, or both, and when actuated, emits a sound or transmits a signal to indicate that an emergency exists, and to which law enforcement officers are expected to respond. This definition shall not include 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.

“Audible alarm” means a device designed to emit an audible sound to alert others of an unauthorized entry onto property, an unauthorized entry into a structure, or the commission of a robbery, burglary, or other crime.

“False alarm” means an alarm signal which causes response by the Sheriff-Coroner where an emergency situation does not exist. “False alarm” does not include an alarm signal activated by earthquake, extraordinary weather conditions, or other act of God.

“Response” means arrival at the location of the alarm.

“Sheriff-Coroner” means the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the City of Laguna Hills Police Services Department. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.030 Direct dial telephone devices.

No person shall lease, maintain, service, repair, alter, replace, move, install, or use any alarm system which automatically direct dials the telephone number of the Sheriff-Coroner. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.040 Direct alarms.

Direct alarm systems shall not be connected to the Sheriff-Coroner except with the express written permission of the Sheriff-Coroner. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.050 Responsibilities of alarm system subscribers.

A.    When an alarm system has been activated for an alarm subscriber, the alarm business which provides the subscription service shall arrange at all times to have an alarm system with the ability to be present at the location of the alarm within one hour after being requested to do so by a representative of the Sheriff-Coroner.

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

C.    For every alarm system, the alarm subscriber or the alarm business which provides subscription service shall furnish to the Sheriff-Coroner the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of as many persons as are deemed necessary by the Sheriff-Coroner to call in the event of an emergency. The subscriber or alarm business shall communicate to the Sheriff-Coroner immediately in writing any changes occurring in any of the names, addresses, or telephone numbers provided to the Sheriff-Coroner.

(Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.060 Automatic shut-off requirements – Audible alarms.

All audible alarm systems shall, after activation, limit the generation of the audible sound to a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes when the alarm system is protecting a 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 location. Such system may include an automatic resetting device causing the subject system to re-arm upon automatic shut-off. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.070 False alarms – Prevention and reimbursement of costs.

An alarm subscriber shall be liable to reimburse the Sheriff-Coroner for responding to excessive false alarms emitted by his or her alarm system. For purposes of this section, the term “excessive false alarms” shall mean the third and subsequent false alarm at the same residence or business in a calendar year. The Sheriff-Coroner shall collect costs from any alarm subscriber of an alarm system which is not maintained in accordance with the requirements of this section and which, by reason thereof, signals an excessive false alarm. As used in this section, “costs” means the cost of the Sheriff-Coroner in responding to a false alarm, which costs shall be determined by resolution of the City Council. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))

5-52.080 Intentional false alarms – Penalties – Reimbursement of costs.

No person shall intentionally initiate a false alarm except for purposes of testing an alarm system and then only after having given the Sheriff-Coroner prior notice thereof. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and also shall be required to pay to the Sheriff-Coroner the cost prescribed by Section 5‑52.070. (Ord. 2009-2 § 1 (part))