54-76 Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Alarm system means an assembly of equipment and devices, or a single device, arranged to signal the presence of a hazard, or situation requiring urgent attention, and to which the police or fire department is expected to respond.

Alarm system agent means a person employed by an alarm system contractor whose duties include the altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing, responding to or causing others to respond to an alarm system.

Alarm system contractor means an individual, firm, company, partnership or corporation engaged in the installation, maintenance, alteration or servicing of alarm systems or who responds to an alarm system. “Alarm system contractor” shall not include an individual or a business which only sells or manufactures alarm systems unless the individual or business services alarm systems, installs alarm systems, or monitors or responds to alarm systems at the protected premises.

Alarm user means any person on whose premises an alarm system is maintained within the city, except for alarm systems on motor vehicles. If, however, an alarm system on a motor vehicle is connected with an alarm system at a premises, the person using such system is an alarm user. Also excluded from this definition and from the coverage of this article are persons who use alarm systems to alert or signal persons within the premises in which the alarm system is located of an attempted unauthorized intrusion or other illegal act. If such a system, however, employs an audible signal emitting outside the premises, such system shall be within the definition of an alarm system and shall be subject to this article and the person who owns or leases it shall be an alarm user.

Automatic telephone alarm system means a device, or combination of devices, that will, upon activation, either mechanically, electronically or by other means initiate the automatic calling, dialing or connection to any telephone number assigned to any subscriber by a public telephone company for the purpose of delivering a recorded message.

Chief of police means the chief of police of the city.

False alarm means the activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, negligence, or the intentional activation of the alarm system without reasonable and legitimate need by the owner or lessee of an alarm system or his employee or agent. “False alarm” shall not include an alarm caused by a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, downed telephone lines, or any other violent conditions beyond the control of the owner or lessee of an alarm system or of their employee or agent.

Subscriber means and includes, but is not limited to, any public service utility, fire department or police agency.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.1)

Cross referenceDefinitions generally, § 1-2.

54-77 Permit required; fees.

Notwithstanding the provisions in this article, all persons owning and/or leasing or occupying premises upon which an alarm system has been installed and maintained shall obtain a permit from the chief of police. Permit fees shall be established by resolution of the city council.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.2)

54-78 Sale or installation of system; license required.

(a)    No alarm system agent or alarm system contractor shall install, maintain, alter, replace, move, sell, service, respond to or cause others to respond to an alarm system unless properly licensed.

(b)    All alarm systems installed from and after the effective date of this article shall be required to have as a feature a battery to provide emergency power in the event electrical service to the alarm system is suspended or terminated for any reason.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.3)

54-79 Automatic telephone alarm systems prohibited.

No person shall sell, maintain, install, operate, adjust, arrange for or contract to furnish an automatic telephone alarm system.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.4)

54-80 Audible alarms—Locating information required.

No person shall maintain an alarm system which, when activated, causes an audible and/or visible signal, which signal can be heard or seen outside the premises protected by such alarm system, and which signal is disturbing to the peace and quiet of the surrounding area, unless that person has first furnished to the chief of police the following: The name, telephone number and address of the premises where the alarm system is located, and also the names and telephone numbers of at least three other persons who can be reached at any time day or night and who, within a 30-minute response time, can open the premises in which the alarm system is installed and deactivate the audible and/or visual signs.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.5)

54-81 Same—Duration limited.

No person shall use, install or direct to be installed any audio alarm system which emits a sound and/or visual signal for a period longer than 15 minutes from the time of the initial signaling of the device. This section shall not apply to fire alarm systems.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.6)

54-82 Multiple units of occupancy within building; separate alarm system required.

Separate alarm systems are required whenever a single building contains more than one unit of occupancy and each unit has a separate entrance. If such occupant elects to install an alarm system, such person shall be required to have a separate alarm system for each such business located in such building. Whenever a multiple housing residential structure shall have separate entrances for each occupancy unit, and such occupant elects to have an alarm system, each separate entrance to the occupancy unit shall contain separate alarm systems.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.7)

54-83 False alarms; fees; revocation of permit; waiver procedure.

(a)    Any person operating an alarm system experiencing more than three false alarms as described in this article within any 12-month period shall pay to the city false alarm fees as follows:

Fourth false alarm    



If not paid within 30 days    


Fifth false alarm    



If not paid within 30 days    


Sixth and subsequent false alarm    



If not paid within 30 days    


For each additional 30-day period that the required fees are not paid, an additional fee of $5.00 shall be required.


(b)    Failure to comply with the provisions of this article or failure to eliminate the occurrence of more than five false alarms within a 12-month period may result in revocation of the permit, and/or termination of service as provided in this article.

(c)    To revoke a permit under this article, a written notice of revocation, stating the cause or causes therefor, shall be delivered to the permittee personally, or sent by registered mail. Unless a written request for a waiver, due to extenuating circumstances, is filed with the chief of police within ten working days from the receipt of notice of the revocation, the permit shall be revoked and the permittee shall immediately discontinue operation of the alarm system. The request for waiver shall include:

(1)    Payment of all delinquent alarm fees, which may be waived and refunded in whole or in part at the discretion of the chief of police;

(2)    Documentation of extenuating circumstances involved; and

(3)    Documentation of any repair service having been performed to remedy any malfunction.

Within ten working days of the receipt of the waiver request, the chief of police shall make a written determination on the waiver request and shall notify the alarm user of the decision. If the alarm user is not satisfied with the decision rendered by the chief of police, the identical written request for waiver may be filed with the office of the mayor within ten working days of receipt of the waiver request. Within ten working days of the receipt of the waiver request and documentation of extenuating circumstances, the mayor or his designee shall review the request, make a written determination on the waiver, and shall notify the alarm user of the decision.

(d)    The police department shall prepare procedural guidelines for the handling of excessive false alarms and, upon approval by the mayor, implement such procedures. The guidelines shall include a provision that an alarm system experiencing more than nine false alarms within a 12-month period shall be deemed defective and unless further action is taken by the owner or lessee of such alarm system, the police department may terminate service, respond to such alarm on reduced priority basis, or require corroborative evidence to respond to any subsequent alarm generated.

(e)    All fees received under the provisions of this article shall be retained by the police department.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.8)

54-84 Exceptions to false alarms.

Alarm conditions caused by the following extenuating circumstances shall not constitute a false alarm, and no false alarm fee shall be charged:

(1)    Alarm conditions being activated by persons working on the alarm system with prior notification to the police department.

(2)    Alarms which can be substantiated as being activated by disruption or disturbance of Michigan Bell Telephone Company facilities or motor vehicle utility pole accidents or by storm conditions.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.10)

54-85 False alarm warning notice.

The police department shall mail a notice of false alarms to the alarm user after three false alarms have been experienced within a 12-month period, which notice shall indicate the fees, penalties, and revocation procedures prescribed by this article.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.11)

54-86 Reinstatement of permit following revocation.

A permittee whose permit has been revoked may reapply for reinstatement of the permit. Such reapplication shall be in the same form and manner as for an original permit application, except that the permittee must pay any false alarm fees due and owing plus any interest charge, plus a reinstatement fee of $50.00.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.9)

54-87 Violation; penalty.

A violation of this article by any person shall be a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $500.00 and/or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, plus the costs of prosecution.

(Code 1985, § 16-67.12)