Chapter 8.44
ALARMS

Sections:

8.44.010    Definitions.

8.44.020    Approved alarm control panels required.

8.44.030    Contact information required.

8.44.040    Two-call verification required prior to requesting law enforcement response.

8.44.050    Fees – Corrective action – Disconnection.

8.44.060    Administrative decision – Notice.

8.44.070    Appeal from administrative decision – Finality.

8.44.080    Payments of fees required.

8.44.010 Definitions.

A. “Alarm system” means any mechanism, equipment or device which is designed to detect heat/smoke or unauthorized entry into any building or onto any property, or to direct attention to a robbery in progress, and to signal the above occurrences, either by a local or audible alarm or by a silent or remote alarm. Alarm systems shall not include alarms installed in motor vehicles which by their nature are mobile and are intended to prevent theft through the creation of a loud noise.

B. “Approved alarm control panel” means a control panel that meets the industry standard SIA CP-01 UL listing.

C. “Automatic dialing device” means a device which is interconnected and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and/or transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.

D. “City administrator” includes his or her designee.

E. “False alarm” means the activation of a heat/smoke alarm, burglary and/or robbery alarm by other than an actual fire, forced entry, attempted forced entry, unlawful entry, robbery or attempted robbery on the premises and at a time when no robbery, burglary or other crime involving a foreseeable risk of grievous bodily harm is being committed or attempted on the premises.

F. “Owner” means the person having or maintaining a heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm on premises owned and/or occupied by him.

G. “Person” means any natural person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association or society, or a corporation of any character whatsoever.

H. “Response” shall be deemed to have occurred when the police or fire department begins to proceed towards the premises as a result of the activation of the alarm. (Ord. 2008 § 3, 2014)

8.44.020 Approved alarm control panels required.

Only approved alarm control panels shall be used in new alarm systems installed after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter and in all upgrades or additions to existing systems that involve changes to the alarm control panel. (Ord. 2008 § 4, 2014)

8.44.030 Contact information required.

Any owner having or maintaining on any premises an automatic dialing device must have on file with the Pend Oreille County sheriff’s office an emergency response card containing the name or names and current telephone number or numbers of person(s) authorized to enter such premises and turn off any such alarm at all hours of the day and night. (Ord. 2008 § 5, 2014)

8.44.040 Two-call verification required prior to requesting law enforcement response.

In all cases other than a panic alarm, a robbery alarm or a fire alarm, when a monitoring company receives an alarm notification of a burglary or unlawful entry, it shall first call the protected premises and if unsuccessful in reaching a responsible party at the first number, it shall place a second call to a different phone number such as the cell phone of the owner or manager, or another number that would most likely be answered prior to requesting a law enforcement response. Further, a request for law enforcement response shall not be made when an alarm signal is followed by a cancel, opening or abort signal generated by someone at the alarm site, with a valid code, disarming the system. (Ord. 2008 § 6, 2014)

8.44.050 Fees – Corrective action – Disconnection.

For police response to any false alarm, the city shall charge and collect from the person having or maintaining such heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm on premises owned or occupied by him, fees as follows:

A. For response to premises at which no other false alarm has occurred, hereinafter referred to as a “first response,” no fee shall be charged. Upon first response, notice of conditions and requirements of this chapter shall be given to the owner or occupant of the premises on which the false alarm occurred and upon which the heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm is located.

B. For a second response to premises within six months after the first response, a fee of $50.00 shall be charged. The person having or maintaining such heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm shall, within five working days after notice to do so, make a written report to the city administrator on prescribed forms setting forth the cause of such false alarm, the corrective action taken, whether and when such alarm has been inspected by authorized service personnel, and such other information as the city administrator may reasonably require to determine the cause of such false alarm, any mitigating circumstances and corrective action necessary. The city administrator may direct the person having or maintaining such heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm to have authorized service personnel inspect the alarm and the cost of such inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the individual having or maintaining the alarm on said premises.

C. For a third response to premises within six months after the first response, a fee of $100.00 shall be charged and the person having or maintaining such heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm shall take necessary corrective action prescribed under subsection B of this section.

D. For a fourth response within six months after the first response, and all subsequent responses, a fee of $150.00 dollars shall be charged. The city administrator may order the person having or maintaining the heat/smoke, burglary and/or robbery alarm to disconnect such alarm until the prescribed corrective action is taken and certification of such corrective action is provided to the city; provided, that no disconnection shall be ordered relative to any premises required by law to have an alarm system in operation.

In the event all false alarm fees and penalties are paid in full and following full payment no false alarm calls occur for a six-month period, the penalty schedule will reset. (Ord. 2008 § 7, 2014)

8.44.060 Administrative decision – Notice.

A. Notice of imposition of any administrative sanction, including the imposition of a fee and/or order of disconnection under the provisions of this chapter, shall be sent by mail or delivered personally to the owner; provided, that with respect to business premises, mailing or personal delivery to the manager or chief administrative officer regularly assigned or employed at the premises at the time of the occurrence of a false alarm shall be deemed to be mailing or personal delivery to the owner.

B. The notice shall specify the sanctions imposed and shall advise the owner that, unless he requests a hearing before the city council as set forth in NMC 8.44.070 by filing written request with the city clerk within 15 days of the date of the notice, the sanctions will be imposed. (Ord. 2008 § 8, 2014)

8.44.070 Appeal from administrative decision – Finality.

A. Any person subject to the imposition of a fee, order of disconnection or other administrative sanction under the terms of this chapter shall have a right to an appeal hearing before the city council upon filing a timely written request.

B. The request for a hearing must be made in writing and filed with the city clerk within 15 days of the date of the notice of administrative decision required under NMC 8.44.060. Upon receipt of a timely written request, the city clerk shall schedule a hearing date and inform the owner of the date, time and place of the hearing. The city council shall consider the record of past false alarms, any corrective action taken and any inspection reports on the cause of the false alarm. If the city council determines that the false alarms are not caused by the owner or his employees or agent, and that reasonable steps have been taken to correct the problem, the fee or other sanction may be suspended, in whole or in part. The city clerk shall keep a written report of the hearing, including a statement or reasons for whatever action is taken. (Ord. 2008 § 9, 2014)

8.44.080 Payments of fees required.

All administrative sanctions imposed under this chapter are due and payable 15 days after notice of the administrative sanction is mailed to the property owner, unless the owner requests a hearing as provided for herein. Any administrative sanction imposed by the city council based upon an appeal as provided for herein is due and payable 15 days after notice of the council’s determination is mailed to the property owner. In either case, if full payment is not received within 60 days of notice of imposition of the fee, the fee will be increased by 50 percent and the account, including all fees and penalties imposed, becomes subject to collection by all legally authorized means, including referral to a collection agency and/or the institution of civil litigation. (Ord. 2008 § 10, 2014)