3-1.1 Findings.

a. Many burglar and holdup alarms to which law enforcement responds are false. Such false alarms result in an enormous waste of manpower. Such a large percentage of false alarms may lull law enforcement officers into a false sense of security since, in responding to an alarm, officers may incorrectly assume it is a false alarm and may be seriously injured or killed by criminals at the location.

b. Many alarm systems automatically dial an emergency phone number. Such systems are prone to be activated by electrical current failures or other events having no connection with criminal activity. Consequently, these systems tie up emergency telephones, thereby making them unavailable to receive genuine emergency calls.

c. The danger to citizens through emergency response created by false alarms is unnecessary and hazardous.

d. The waste of tax dollars through responses created by false alarms must be eliminated.

e. False burglar and holdup alarms have created conditions that endanger the health, safety and welfare of the general public.

(Code 1972 §3 1/2-1; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

Alarm agent shall mean any person employed by a private alarm business whose duties include the altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing, responding to or causing others to respond to an alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility.

Alarm business, private shall mean any business carried on by any person who engages in the sale, lease, maintenance, service, repair, alteration, replacement or installation of any alarm or alarm systems in or on any building, structure or facility.

Alarm owner shall mean the person who has a contractual right to use or make available for use by his agents, employees, representatives or family, any alarm system, or possesses title to the same.

Alarm system shall mean any mechanical or electrical device designed or used for the detection of fire and/or intrusion into a building, structure, or facility, which upon detection causes a local audible alarm or transmission of a signal or message. Alarm systems include, but are not limited to, direct dial tone devices, audible alarms, and proprietor alarms. Devices that are not designed or used to evoke a police or fire response or to activate alarms that are intended to be audible, visible, or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure, or facility intended to be served by such devices are not included within this definition, nor are auxiliary devices that may suffer damage or disruption by the use of an alarm.

Appellant shall mean a person as hereinafter defined, who files an appeal pursuant to this section.

Applicant shall mean a person as hereinafter defined, who files an application for permit as provided for in this section.

Audible alarm shall mean a device designed to detect a fire or an intrusion into a building, structure or facility and which generates an audible sound on the premises when it is activated.

Day shall mean a calendar day.

Direct dial device shall mean a device which is connected to a telephone line and upon activation of an alarm system automatically dials a predetermined telephone number and transmits a message or signal indicating a need for an emergency response and/or service.

False alarm shall mean the activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, accident, misoperation, malfunction, misuse, or the negligence of either the owner or lessee of the alarm system or any of their employees or agents. “False alarms” shall not include alarms caused by independent acts of God or causes beyond the control of the owner or lessee of the alarm system or their employees or agents. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or lessee of the system to show that the cause was beyond their control.

Fire department shall mean the Lynwood Fire Department.

Person shall mean an association, company, corporation, firm, individual, organization or partnership.

Proprietor alarm shall mean an alarm system that is not regularly serviced by a private alarm business.

Sheriff’s department shall mean the County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department or other law enforcement agency under contract with the city to provide law enforcement services.

(Code 1972 §3 1/2-2; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.3 Permit Required.

No person shall install or use an alarm system without first obtaining an alarm permit issued by the City in accordance with the provisions of this section. Fees for this permit shall be established by City Council resolution. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-3; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.4 Application for Permit.

Application for an alarm permit shall be filed with the City Clerk on forms provided by the City. The application shall be signed and verified by the owner or lessee of the alarm system for which the permit is requested, and the application shall contain such information as may be required by the City in order to ensure that the permit is issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-4; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.5 Suspension and Revocation of Permit.

An alarm permit may be suspended and/or revoked as follows: If, after investigation, the City determines that the permittee has violated any provision of this section, has violated any rules and regulations promulgated by the City pursuant to authority granted by this section, or has failed to pay a false alarm fine as provided in subsection 3-1.10 the City shall send to the permittee, by United States mail, a notice of intent to revoke the permit, which shall specify the violation or violations determined by the city to exist and that the permittee has the right to appeal the determination of the City to revoke the permit to the City Manager pursuant to subsection 3-1.6 and that failure of the permittee to remedy the violation or violations specified in the notice of revocation within the fifteen (15) day period, or within such additional time as may be allowed by the City upon a showing of good cause therefor, will result in revocation of the alarm permit and the inability to use the alarm system until a new permit is issued. (Code 1972 §3 1/3-5; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.6 Notice of Appeal.

If any permittee is aggrieved by any action of the City pursuant to the provisions above, the applicant may appeal to the City Manager by filing with the City Manager a notice of appeal, setting forth the facts and circumstances regarding the appeal. This notice of appeal shall be filed not later than fifteen (15) days after service of a notice of revocation as provided for in subsection 3-1.5 of this chapter. The City Manager shall, within fifteen (15) days after the date on which the appeal is filed, hold a hearing, consider all relevant evidence, make findings and determine the merits of the appeal. The City Manager may affirm, overrule, or modify the action. The decision of the City Manager, or his duly authorized representative, shall be final. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-6; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.7 Audible Alarm Requirement.

For each and every audible alarm system, the owner shall, in a location clearly visible from the exterior of the premises, post the names and telephone numbers of persons to be notified to render repairs or service during any hour of the day or night during which the audible alarm system is operated. Every audible alarm shall be equipped to terminate its audible alarm within ten (10) minutes after initial activation. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-7; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.8 Prohibitions.

No person shall install or use an alarm system that upon activation emits a sound similar to a siren in use for emergency vehicles or civil defense purposes or dials directly to any sheriff, police or fire station. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-8; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.9 Infractions; Penalties.

Violations of this section shall constitute an infraction punishable by the following respective fines:

a. Installing or using an alarm system without a permit--two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars (see subsection 3-1.3).

b. Failure to take corrective action: First offense--fifty ($50.00) dollars; second offense--one hundred ($100.00) dollars; third and subsequent offenses--two hundred ($200.00) dollars (see subsection 3-1.12).

c. Operating an audible alarm system without a ten (10) minute automatic reset--one hundred ($100.00) dollars (see subsection 3-1.7).

d. Installing or using a direct dial alarm system--two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars (see subsection 3-1.8).

e. For installing or using an alarm system which, upon activation, emits a sound similar to a siren used for emergency vehicles or civil defense purposes--two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars (see subsection 3-1.8).

f. For maintaining, using, or possessing an alarm system which has caused any signal, message, or alarm to be transmitted to the Lynwood Fire Department or Sheriff’s Department by communication from an alarm agent or an alarm business or by a person responding to an audible alarm system and which alarm system is determined to have been a false system by the Fire Department or the sheriff’s department: (a) for the third false alarm within any twelve (12) month period, a fine of fifty ($50.00) dollars: (b) for the fourth false alarm within any twelve (12) month period, a fine of one hundred fifty ($150.00) dollars: for the fifth and each subsequent false alarm within any twelve (12) month period, a fine of two hundred fifty ($250.00) dollars.

(Code 1972 §3 1/2-9; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.10 Other Fees.

Fees prescribed in this section shall be in addition to any other lawful fees imposed by the City for doing or conducting business within the City. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-10; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.11 Corrective Action.

a. After the Sheriff’s Department responds to any false alarm, a written report shall be submitted to the Sheriff’s Department by the permittee describing actions taken to eliminate the cause of the false alarm. The permittee shall submit this report within ten (10) days of the date requested by the Sheriff. Failure by the permittee to provide the Sheriff’s Department with this report shall be grounds for revocation of the permit. The permittee has the right to appeal in accordance with subsection 3-1.6 for any revocation based upon failure to file such a report.

b. In the event that a permittee sustains three (3) false alarms within any twelve (12) month period, the City, in addition to imposing the fines provided for herein, shall commence revocation proceedings as provided for by subsection 3-1.5, and may revoke the permit within the time period provided for in that subsection should the permittee fail to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the City, that the alarm system is in good working order and will not cause a subsequent false alarm.

(Code 1972 §3 1/2-11; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.12 Limitations on Liability.

The City is under no obligation or duty to any permittee or any other person by reason of any provision of this section or the exercise of any privilege by any permittee hereunder, including but not limited to, any defects in a sheriff, police or fire alarm system, any delay in transmission of an alarm message to any emergency unit or damage caused by delay in responding to any alarm system by any City officer, employee or agent. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-12; Ord. #1236, §1)

3-1.13 Exemptions.

The provisions of this section are not applicable to audible alarms affixed to motor vehicles or to a public telephone utility whose only duty is to furnish telephone service pursuant to tariffs on file with the California Public Utilities Commission. (Code 1972 §3 1/2-13; Ord. #1236 §1)

3-1.14 Applicability.

Any person who, as of the effective date of this section, possesses, has installed and continues to use an alarm system that requires a permit under this section shall apply for a permit as provided for in subsection 3-1.14 within six (6) months after the effective date of this section.1 (Code 1972 §3 1/2-14; Ord. #1236, §1)


Editor’s Note: Ord. No. 1236, §1, adopted October 2, 1984, amended the Code by adding provisions relative to alarm systems, presently designated as Section 3-1.