Placentia

Alarm Ordinance

Chapter 10.38 BURGLARY, ROBBERY, FIRE AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE ALARM SYSTEMS 

10.38.010 Title. 

This chapter shall be known as the “Placentia Alarm System Ordinance.” (Ord. O-2009-14 8 3, 2009) 

10.38.020 Purpose. 

The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations governing burglary, robbery, fire, and medical assistance alarm systems within the city; to reduce false alarms; to require registration of alarm systems; and to provide for the establishment of fees pertaining thereto. (Ord. O-2009-14 g 3, 2009) 

10.38.030 Definitions. 

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall be ascribed to the terms set forth herein unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning. 

“Alarm agent” means any person, firm, partnership or corporation registered as an alarm agent with the Bureau of Collection and Investigative Services, or successor thereto, pursuant to the provisions of California Business and Professions Code Section 7590, et seq., as the same may be amended from time to time or any successor provision or provisions thereto, and doing business as such within the corporate limits of the city of Placentia. 

"Alarm company operator" means any person, firm, partnership or corporation licensed as an alarm company operator by the Bureau of Collection and Investigative Services, or successor thereto pursuant to the provisions of California Business and Professions Code Section 7590, et seq., as the same may be amended from time to time or any successor provision or provisions thereto, and doing business as such within the corporate limits of the city of Placentia. 

"Alarm officer” with regard to burglary or robbery alarm systems, means the chief of police of the city of Placentia; with regard to fire or medical assistance alarms, means the fire chief of the city of Placentia, or designee. 

“Alarm permit coordinator" means the officer or employee of the city, or designee or contractor thereof, designated by the city administrator as having direct authority and responsibility for administration of the provisions of this chapter, excepting only those functions specifically designated to be performed by the alarm officer. 

“Alarm subscriber” means any person, firm, partnership or corporation who or which purchases, leases, rents, contracts for, or otherwise obtains an alarm system or contracts for the servicing or maintenance of an alarm system, 

"Alarm system” means any mechanical, electronic or electrical device which is designed or used for the detection of burglary, robbery, fire, or need for medical assistance within a building, structure, or facility, or for alerting others to a hazard or to the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when actuated, and which is designed to elicit a response from the police department or fire department. 

“Alarm systems” include, but are not limited to, automatic dialing devices, direct-dialtelephone devices, audible alarms, and proprietor alarms. Devices which are not designed or used to register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside the protected building, structure or facility are not included within this definition. 

“Alarm systems” include all equipment necessary or convenient for and designed and installed for the detection of burglary, robbery, fire, need for medical assistance, or other hazard in a single building structure, or facility, or for alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure, or facility. 

“Audible alarm” means any device designed for the detection of unauthorized entry on certain premises that generates an audible sound on such premises when it is actuated. 

“Automatic dialing device” means any alarm system that automatically sends over telephone lines, direct or wireless connection or any other mechanism, a prerecorded voice message or form of signal indicating the existence of an emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect. 

“Emergency” means any condition which results in, or which could result in, the response of police or fire personnel or any condition which jeopardizes or could jeopardize public safety. 

“False alarm” means an alarm signal activated from any alarm system that is responded to by personnel of the police department or fire department and for which no emergency situation exists or existed as determined by the responding personnel. False alarm shall not include an alarm for which personnel of the police department or fire department do not actually arrive at the alarm location, or any alarm caused by earthquakes, severe storms or other extraordinary circumstances determined by the alarm officer to be clearly beyond the control of the alarm subscriber. 

“Nonresponse status” means the status of police service where the police department will not respond to a specified alarm system. 

“Proprietor alarm” means an alarm system that is not serviced by an alarm agent or alarm company operator, (Ord. O-2009-14 8 3, 2009) 

10.38.040 Alarm system permits. 

(a) Permit Required. No alarm subscriber or person utilizing a proprietor alarm system shall install, replace, maintain, or operate an alarm system within the city, except government and public school buildings, without first applying for and receiving an alarm system permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Following ten (10) days' prior written notification, any alarm system which has been installed, replaced, maintained, or operated without a valid permit may be placed on nonresponse status by the alarm officer according to the procedures set forth in Section 10.38.110 of this chapter until a permit has been issued or renewed. Permits for the installation, replacement, operation and maintenance of automatic dialing devices are subject to the provisions of Section 10.38.130 hereof. 

(b) Applications. Applications for an alarm system permit shall be filed with the alarm permit coordinator on forms provided by the alarm periit coordinator. The application shall be signed and verified by the alarm subscriber and shall contain such information as the alarm permit coordinator deems necessary to complete review and issue a permit. If the alarm permit coordinator finds the application is complete and the information is true and correct, and the applicant is otherwise in compliance with all provisions of this code, a permit shall be issued. Permits for alarm systems shall not be transferable. Applications for alarm system permits and the information contained thereon shall be confidential and the alarm officer and alarm permit coordinator shall not release such application or the information contained thereon to any person except as may be necessary in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, or otherwise as provided by law. 

(c) Fees. An alarm subscriber applying for or renewing an alarm system permit shall pay the fee established therefor by resolution of the city council. 

(d) Alarm System Contact Information. The alarm subscriber shall provide on the application for permit the names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least three (3) persons to notify in the event of an alarm activation. If the alarm subscriber las entered into a service contract with an alarm company operator, or any other service company, which provides responses on a twenty-four (24) hour basis, the emergency telephone numbers of the alarm company operator shall be deemed to satisfy this requirement. The name, address and twenty-four (24) hour telephone number of the alarm subscriber's alarm company operator shall be provided. The permittee shall advise the alarm system coordinator of any change in contact information within five (5) business days of any such change. 

(e) Permit Term. Each permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be valid from the date of issuance through the final business day of the month coinciding with twenty-four (24) months after the date of initial issuance. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the alarm permit coordinator is hereby authorized to establish a system to allow for permits to expire on such basis as to allow for approximately one-twelfth of such permits to expire each month subsequent to the initial issuance thereof. 

(f) Display of Permit. The permit shall be kept on the premises and posted where the alarm system is located, or elsewhere as required by regulations promulgated by the alarm permit coordinator. 

(g) Rules and Regulations. The alarm permit coordinator may promulgate additional rules and regulations implementing the provisions of this chapter. Such rules and regulations may include, but are not limited to, establishing criteria for the waiver of fees consistent with the intent and purpose of this chapter. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.050 Required response-Silencing alarm systems. 

Upon notification by the alarm officer that an alarm system is activated, the alarm subscriber, or the representative or alarm agent of the alarm subscriber, shall immediately proceed to the location and silence the alarm. The silencing shall be completed within thirty (30) minutes after notification when the alarm system is protecting a residential structure or within forty-five (45) minutes when the alarm system is protecting a commercial or industrial structure. Alternately, the alarm system may be equipped with an automatic shut-off device which shall silence the alarm within fifteen (15) minutes after activation when the alarm system is protecting a residential structure or within thirty (30) minutes of activation when the alarm system is protecting a commercial or industrial structure, eliminating the need for responses otherwise required by this section. The failure of an alarm subscriber to comply with the response and alarm silencing time limits set forth herein shall be chargeable as a false alarm. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.060 Alarm businesses and agents. 

All alarm company operators providing services within the city shall obtain a city business license, and all such operators and alarm agents shall register their name and file a copy of their state identification card, license, or permit with the alarm permit coordinator. Each alarm agent while engaged in the duties of an alarm agent shall carry on such agent's person at all times the state identification card, license, or permit and shall display the same to the alarm officer upon request. No alarm system may be installed by anyone other than the owner of the alarm or alarm company operator. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.070 Notification of change. 

Whenever any change occurs with regard to any application or other information required by this chapter, the person required to provide such information shall give written notice thereof to the alarm permit coordinator within five (5) business days of such change. (Ord. O-2009-14 § 3, 2009) 

10.38.080 Alarm system standards. 

All alarm systems shall conform with the provisions of Chapter 20.16 of the Placentia Municipal Code (California Electrical Code), if applicable, as the same currently exists or as may be amended from time to time hereafter. No alarm system, not including automatic dialing device alarms, shall be operated unless the alarm subscriber has entered into a service contract with an alarm company operator providing service twenty-four (24) hours per day. Every alarm system shall be equipped so that it shall not activate in the event of a power outage unless there exists an emergency situation which the alarm was designed to detect. (Ord. O-2009-14 9 3, 2009) 

10.38.090 Maintenance and inspections. 

(a) Maintenance. Each alarm subscriber shall maintain each alarm system in good working order, and provide the necessary service to prevent malfunctions. 

(b) Inspections. The alarm officer may, prior to placing an alarm on nonresponse status and/or as a condition of reissuance of an alarm permit, require an alarm subscriber to have a nuisance alarm system under the subscriber's control inspected at the subscriber's expense, by the company providing the alarm subscriber's alarm services, or other person qualified to inspect and service such equipment. Inspections shall be thorough enough to detect any likely malfunctions and shall include testing of the equipment. Particular attention shall be paid to the conditions that have the potential of causing false alarms. The person making the inspection shall provide a written report to the alarm subscriber and the alarm officer, detailing measures taken to eliminate the likelihood of further false alarms caused by the alarm system. The report shall be kept on the premises for two (2) years, and shall be subject to inspection by the alarm officer upon request. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.100 Reimbursement for false alarm responses. 

Each alarm subscriber shall reimburse the city for the cost of the police or fire department personnel and equipment response to false alarms in such amount as may be established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 0-2009-14 g 3, 2009) 

10.38.110 Maintaining a public nuisance alarm. 

(a) No alarm subscriber shall operate an alarm system which has not been permitted hereunder, or which generates more than three (3) false alarms in a ninety (90) day period, or four (4) false alarms in a one hundred eighty (180) day period, or five (5) or more false alarms in any twelve (12) month period. 

(b) Any alarm system operated or maintained in violation of this section shall be deemed a public nuisance. 

(c) In addition to any other remedy available to the city, including the collection of any false alarm charge fee required or permitted by this chapter, the alarm offi cer may, in such officer's discretion, place an alarm system operated or maintained in violation of this section on nonresponse status according to the procedures delineated in this section. Furthermore, the alarm officer may, consistent with the procedures set forth herein, place an alarm system on nonresponse status when accrued false alarm charges have been unpaid for over thirty (30) days. 

(d) Notice. The alarm officer shall provide the alarm subscriber ten (10) days written notice of non response status. The nonresponse status shall not become effective unless the notice period has lapsed and no request for review has timely been made. 

(e) Review. The alarm subscriber may request the alarm officer to review and reconsider the decision to place an alarm system on nonresponse status. In the event a request for review is filed during the ten (10) day notice period, nonresponse status shall not become effective until the fifth day following the provision of notice of an adverse decision by the alarm officer. The request for review shall contain all pertinent information and no evidence the alarm subscriber deems appropriate for the alarm officer's consideration. 

(f) Compliance. An alarm system shall remain on nonresponse status until such time as the alarm subscriber provides a written report, and such other evidence as the alarm officer deems adequate, describing the causes of the false alarms which resulted in the alarm system being placed on nonresponse status and the action taken to terminate or remedy such causes. Nonresponse status shall not terminate until the alarm officer finds that repair(s) and/or corrective action(s) adequate to remedy the causes for the false alarms have been effected and the alarm subscriber has paid all required fees. The alarm officer may impose conditions upon reactivation of active status. Active status may also be restored, with or without conditions that may include payment of a deposit, upon payment of all delinquent alarm charges. 

(g) Revocation of Alarm Permit. In any case where the alarm officer finds, based on substantial evidence, that an aların subscriber who has been placed on nonresponse status within the previous twelve (12) months has not taken steps sufficient to remedy continued false alarms, or has repeatedly failed to pay delinquent false aların charges, or has deliberately activated a false alarm, the alarm permit may be revoked for up to twelve (12) months, in addition to being placed on nonresponse status, following the provision of notice and review, if requested, pursuant to the procedures set forth in subsections d and e of this section. Following the period of revocation, an alarm subscriber may reapply for an aların system permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.120 Exempt alarms. 

(a) Automobile Alarms. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to audible alarms affixed to automobiles. 

Officer. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any alarm system installed or maintained by the alarm officer, or any alarm that is otherwise exempted by law from the provisions of this chapter. 

(c) Telephone Systems. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any auxiliary device installed by a telephone company to protect telephone company systems that might be damaged or disrupted by the use of an alarm system. (Ord. O-2009-14 § 3, 2009) 

10.38.130 Automatic dialing device permit. 

(a) Required. No person shall use or operate an automatic dialing device without having an alarm system permit. 

(b) Application for Permit and Permit Conditions. 

(1) Applications for permits pursuant to this section shall be made on such forms as may be prescribed by the alarm permit coordinator and shall be signed by the alarm subscriber and the person who provides or installs such device. 

(2) The device must be programmed to initiate and deliver the recorded message or signal only to such city telephone number or numbers as may be assigned by the alarm permit coordinator. 

(3) The alarm subscriber must notify the alarm permit coordinator if the use of such device is discontinued. 

(4) Each user of an automatic dialing device is subject to payment of reimbursement fees for false alarms pursuant to Section 10.38.100. 

(c) Application and Inspection Fees. Each application shall be accompanied by an alarm system application fee as established by resolution of the city council. If, in the opinion of the alarm permit coordinator, an inspection of the premises where such device is to be located is necessary or desirable, an inspection fee shall be paid. Prior to issuing any such permit, the alarm permit coordinator may require an applicant to present for examination and inspection the device which the applicant proposes to install and such other information relating to such device as may be necessary to establish its adequacy and suitability for the purpose intended. 

(d) Information Required. Any permit issued by the alarm permit coordinator pursuant to the provisions of this section shall specify the city telephone number or numbers to which any such device may be programmed. It is unlawful for the persons to whom such a permit is issued to utilize any city telephone number other than the number or numbers specified in such permit. 

(e) Revocation of Permit. Any permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this section may be revoked by the alarm permit coordinator at any time for any of the following reasons: 

(1) The use of such device or devices impairs the city's communications facilities; (2) Failure to properly maintain and service such device; (3) Failure to pay any false alarm fees or other payments due to the malfunctioning of such device; (4) Maintaining a public nuisance alarm, as described in Section 10.38.110. 

(f) Except as otherwise provided in this section, all provisions of this chapter shall apply to automatic dialing devices. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.140 Prohibited alarm systems. 

(a) Audible Alarm Systems Similar to Sirens. It is unlawful to install or maintain on the exterior or interior of any building, any alarm system or device which, upon actuation, emits a sound similar to sirens utilized on emergency vehicles or vehicles used for civil defense purposes. 

(b) Miscellaneous. It is unlawful to install, use, maintain or deliberately activate any alarm system designed to detect burglaries or robberies for any purpose other than reporting such burglaries, robberies, or other crimes involving risk of personal harm or property damage. Deliberately activating an alarm for any purpose other than a condition that the alarm is intended to detect, is a misdemeanor. (Ord. O-2009-14 8 3, 2009) 

10.38.150 Penalties and enforcement. 

Except as provided in Section 10.38.100, the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable as a misdemeanor. (Ord. O-2009-14  3, 2009) 

10.38.160 Limitation of liability. 

No provision or provisions set forth in this chapter shall be deemed to impose any liability on the part of the city or any of its elected or appointed officials, officers, employees or agents as to any alarm subscriber or to any other person, as a result of any defect in an alarm system, failure of the city to receive an alarm, or failure of the city to respond to any alarm regulated by this chapter, whether false or not. The city council declares that it shall be entirely within the discretion of each police officer or fire service official receiving a report of an alarm activation, whether or not to respond to such alarm, and that the city assumes no duty to respond to any alarm as a result of the enactment of this chapter or the issuance of any permit hereunder. (Ord. O-2009-14 § 3, 2009) 

10.38.170 Time for compliance. 

Owners of alarm systems in existence as of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter, shall have ninety (90) days to obtain an alarm system permit in accordance with this chapter. (Ord. O-2009-14 8 3, 2009)