Chapter 8.10


8.10.010    Violations of chapter.

8.10.020    Definitions – Classifications of systems.

8.10.030    Monitoring devices for police and fire direct connection systems.

8.10.040    Telephone dialer systems prohibited – Exceptions.

8.10.050    Response to alarms – Waiver of liability.

8.10.060    Discontinuance or disconnection of city’s alarm service generally.

8.10.070    False alarms and malfunctions.

8.10.080    Service complaints – Appeals concerning operation or procedure of system.

*Cross reference – Required approval for fire warning systems and installation thereof, SCC 8.15.010.

8.10.010 Violations of chapter.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, a violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor. (Code 1985, § 4-1).

Cross reference – Penalty for Class 3 misdemeanor, SCC 1.05.100.

8.10.020 Definitions – Classifications of systems.

The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, 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 intended, arranged or designed to detect and signal the presence or occurrence of a peril or hazard for attention and to which police, firefighters, rescue, or other public safety or emergency personnel are expected to respond in emergency situations. Such system may be installed, maintained, altered or serviced by an alarm company operator in both commercial and residential premises. For purposes of this chapter, “alarm system” also refers to all systems which include notifications, alarm bells, horns, sirens and lights, which are transmitted, available, or visible beyond the lot lines of the premises. Alarm systems are further classified in terms of terminating signal location or device as follows:

(1) Local Alarms. An alarm system installed in a vehicle or upon a premises location, which system, when activated, sounds an audible or visual signal only at the location involved. Such local alarm systems must be installed, operated, monitored and maintained in such a manner as to avoid violation of any provision of this code.

(2) Direct Connection, Central Service. An alarm system installed in a premises location, which system, when activated, sends a signal to a central service terminal device operated by a private or commercial enterprise which, in turn, telephonically contacts appropriate emergency services.

(3) Direct Connection, Police and Fire. An alarm system installed in a premises location, which system, when activated, sends a signal to the communications center, where, in turn and subject to the availability of resources, a police or fire unit is normally dispatched to investigate the cause for alarm activation.

(4) Telephone Dialer Alarm. An alarm device or system consisting of any mechanical, electrical or radio-electronic device or system so made or designed as to automatically actuate or call any city police or fire department telephone or radio circuit and use a pretaped or programmed verbal message or signal, which operates through overhead or underground wires or by radio frequencies and which is set or programmed to directly dial, actuate, call or in any other manner make direct contact with any telephone line or radio circuit of the police department or fire department.

“Communications center” means the city’s police and fire communications center. (Ord. 2015-15. Ord. 1-27-82, §§ 21-24, 21-26; Code 1985, § 4-2).

8.10.030 Monitoring devices for police and fire direct connection systems.

All direct connection type private alarms terminating in the police and fire communications center must use interfacing equipment, approved by the chief of police and installed at service company expense, which connects the subscriber alarm system to alarm monitor devices installed in the communications center. These alarm monitor devices may be provided by alarm service companies, which may charge installation fees and periodic maintenance fees to all subscribers for this service. (Ord. 1-27-82, § 21-25; Code 1985, § 4-3).

8.10.040 Telephone dialer systems prohibited – Exceptions.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, it shall be unlawful for any person to install, sell, lease or use, or cause or allow to be installed, sold, leased or used, within the corporate limits of the city, any police or fire telephone dial alarm device or system.

(2) Alarm service companies may have installed in the communications center a telephone line and unlisted telephone number which they may make available on a subscription basis for those telephone dialer alarm users who wish to avail themselves of this service.

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the installation, sale, lease or use of any alarm device, so long as such device is not designed or programmed to dial, actuate, call or in any other manner directly contact, by telephone or radio circuit, the police department or fire department on any telephone line or radio circuit assigned to such department. (Ord. 1-27-82, § 21-26; Code 1985, § 4-4).

8.10.050 Response to alarms – Waiver of liability.

(1) Police and fire alarm service response will be in accordance with response policies of the police and fire departments.

(2) The city assumes no responsibility or obligation as to any omission or commission resulting from an alarm termination in the communications center. The city does not, cannot and will not guarantee that an alarm signal transmitted to the communications center will be received and responded to, either administratively or operationally, by dispatcher personnel or by police or fire personnel under dispatcher assignment or control. It is recognized that there may be signal failure or interruption or malfunction beyond the immediate control of the city. It is further recognized that there may be emergencies underway carrying a higher priority or that police or other response units may not be immediately available for response to an alarm. The city will not assume responsibility or liability for losses, damages or injuries to persons or property, alleged or in fact, as a result of any failure of alarm signals, the handling of signals within the communications center or response thereto and further disclaims any and all responsibility for any such loss, damage or injury. (Ord. 1-27-82, § 21-28; Code 1985, § 4-5).

8.10.060 Discontinuance or disconnection of city’s alarm service generally.

(1) The city may discontinue its alarm service by giving 12 months’ written notice to any or all subscribers, if the city makes a determination to discontinue this service.

(2) It is the intent of the city, in the provision of alarm service as established in this chapter, to provide an efficient, effective and responsive service. To this purpose, if any connection, subscriber or company making a connection or furnishing maintenance to a connection is not in reasonable accordance with this intent and objective or is disruptive to this intent and objective or to the response procedures of the city, the city may proceed to apply the discontinuance or disconnection process. (Ord. 1-27-82, § 21-28; Code 1985, § 4-6).

8.10.070 False alarms and malfunctions.

(1) “False alarm” is an alarm signal or notification transmitted to or received by the communications center as a result of human error or equipment or line or other equipment or software malfunction, and includes negligently or accidentally activated signal or notification, whether purposely activated or not for attention of police, firefighters, rescue, or other public safety or emergency personnel in non-emergency situations. Because each such alarm requires the commitment of city emergency resources, false alarms are discouraged.

(2) A service charge of $100.00 will be assessed for each false alarm or malfunction signal in excess of three per calendar year that results in response to the location. This service charge shall be payable within 10 days of written notification of the assessment to the subscriber or owner or tenant at the premises. Failure to pay also may result in disconnection of any service in the communications center.

(3) The city may discontinue or disconnect service in the communications center, upon five days’ prior written notice, when false or malfunction signals in excess of five in any one calendar year are received from any location. A reconnection or continuation charge of $100.00 will be payable and must be accompanied by a written assurance that measures have been taken to preclude further false or malfunction notifications or signals as to the location involved. After two instances of service disconnection, permanent disconnection may be made.

(4) When advance notice is provided to the communications center, maintenance of an alarm system or testing of an alarm system which generates a signal will not be counted as a false alarm.

(5) When alarm or trouble condition signals are generated as a result of major power failure, lightning, snow, sleet or ice storms, or by trouble in transmission lines between a subscriber and the communications center, such signals will not be counted as false alarms. (Ord. 2015-15. Ord. 1-27-82, §§ 21-27, 21-28; Code 1985, § 4-7).

8.10.080 Service complaints – Appeals concerning operation or procedure of system.

Any complaints as to alarm service provided by either the city or an alarm service company should be directed, in writing, to the chief of police. Any appeal of decisions made concerning the operation and procedure of the alarm system may be made in writing to the city manager. (Ord. 1-27-82, § 21-28; Code 1985, § 4-8).