TOWN OF PELHAM
§ 167-1. Definitions.
§ 167-2. Permit required; application for permit.
§ 167-3. Permit fees.
§ 167-4. Payment of permit fees.
§ 167-5. Permit required maintaining or operating system.
§ 167-6. Direct dial tape alarms.
§ 167-7. Service charge for excessive false alarms.
§ 167-8. Failure to comply grounds for permit denial.
§ 167-9. Action on excessive false alarms.
§ 167-10. Permit to be kept on protected premises.
§ 167-11. Violations and penalties.
§ 167-12. Appeals and waivers of false alarm service charges.
§ 167-13. Liability of Police and Fire Departments.
§ 167-14. Status of records kept.
§ 167-15. Existing systems to comply.
§ 167-16. Severability.
§ 167-17. Effective date.
[HISTORY: Adopted 6-8-82 by the Board of Selectmen. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DIGITAL ALARM - Any alarm system which automatically seizes a telephone line connected to the Pelham fire/police station and transmits a signal received by the police/fire alarm monitoring facility indicating the existence of an emergency situation which the alarm is designated to detect.
DIRECT ALARM - Any alarm system which is directly connected to an alarm processing unit within the police/fire monitoring facility and which indicates the existence of an emergency -situation which the alarm is designed to detect.
DIRECT DIAL TAPE ALARM - Any alarm system which automatically seizes a telephone line connected to the Pelham fire/police station and reproduces a prerecorded voice message indicating the existence of the emergency situation which the alarm is designed to detect.
EMERGENCY ALARM SYSTEM - Any assembly of equipment and devices, or a simple device, arranged to signal a hazard requiring the urgent attention of the Police or Fire Departments and to which the Police or Fire Departments are expected to respond. As used in this chapter, the term "emergency alarm system" shall include, but not be limited to, "direct dial tape alarms," "digital alarms," "local alarms," and "manual alarms" as those terms are hereinafter defined.
FALSE ALARM - The activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, accidental tripping, misoperation, malfunction, misuse or the neglect of the owner or lessee of the alarm system, or of his agents or employees. Upon failure of the responding police or fire officials to find any evidence of a legitimate need or legitimate cause for the activation of an alarm system, a conclusive presumption of "false alarm" will be made. "False alarm" shall not include alarms caused by violent winds, storms, earthquakes or other violent events of nature.
LOCAL ALARMS - any alarm system not connected the police/fire monitoring facility or to a central station or answering service which, when activated, causes an audible or visual signal at the premises within which the alarm system is located.
MANUAL ALARM - any alarm in which the activation of the alarm is initiated by the direct action of the alarm user, his agents or employees, and is installed to elicit a Police or Fire Department response.
167-2: PERMIT REQUIRED: APPLICATION FOR PERMIT (click onto this link for application)
The Chief of Police or, in the case of a fire alarm, the Fire Chief is hereby authorized to issue a permit to any owner of property located within the Town of Pelham or the lessee thereof to maintain, install or modify an alarm system upon application to them and subject to the following provisions:
As of the effective date of this chapter, no alarm user shall allow the use, installation, modification or servicing of any new or existing alarm system under his control by any person who has not met the requirements of RSA 323-A:4, relative to the licensing of alarm installers.
The alarm user, applying for the permit, shall state on the application his name, address, telephone number and, in the case of a corporation or legal entity, the name(s), address (es) and telephone number(s) of the person(s) responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and operation of the alarm system, and any other relevant information that the Chief of Police or Fire Chief may deem necessary.
C. The Chief of Police or, in the case of a fire alarm, the Fire Chief, upon application to him for a permit, shall, in his sound judgment, determine whether the application conforms to the requirements of this chapter and that the facts stated therein are true and accurate; and he may cause such system to be inspected and may determine whether such system is reasonably operational.
167-3: PERMIT FEES
A residential permit shall include all private dwellings, individual apartments or condominium units, occupied primarily by the applicant, for which the applicant shall pay the Town of Pelham a permit fee of five dollars ($5.) as a onetime fee.
A commercial permit shall include all businesses, corporations or unincorporated associations for which the applicant shall pay to the Town of Pelham a permit fee of ten dollars ($10.) as a one-time fee.
All federal, state, county and local government agencies that operate alarm systems shall be exempt from all permit fees and service charges but shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter.
D. All persons sixty-five (65) years of age or older, who are the principal occupant of a private residence and who operate a residential alarm system as defined above, shall also be exempt from all permit fees but shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter.
167-4. PAYMENT OF PERMIT FEES
Permit fees shall be paid to the Town of Pelham by the applicant or operator of an alarm system at the time the permit is granted.
167-5. PERMIT REQUIRED MAINTAINING OR OPERATING SYSTEM
It shall be prohibited for any person or alarm user to maintain or operate an alarm system, as defined by the terms of this chapter, without first obtaining a permit as provided herein.
167-6. DIRECT DIAL TAPE ALARMS [Amended by the Board of Selectmen 2-16-83]
The use of direct dial tape alarms, as defined in § 167-1, within the Town of Pelham shall be prohibited except under the following conditions:
Said direct dial tape alarm shall be programmed to call only that telephone number authorized by the Pelham Police/Fire Department dispatch center.
B. Any person or alarm user utilizing the authorized telephone number for the transmission of a taped alarm message shall pay an annual fee to the Town of Pelham in an amount set by the town.
167-7. SERVICE CHARGE FOR EXCESSIVE FALSE ALARMS
Any owner or lessee of property having an alarm system on his premises, and any user of alarm services or equipment designed and installed to elicit a Police or Fire Department response, shall pay to the Town of Pelham a service charge of twenty-five dollars ($25.) for each and every false alarm to which the Police or Fire Departments respond in excess of three (3) false alarms in any calendar year.
B. Any central station, answering service or proprietary system that in any manner notifies the Pelham Police or Fire Departments of an alarm signal from an alarm system of an alarm user who does not possess an alarm user's permit, or whose permit has been suspended, revoked or denied, shall be charge twenty-five dollars ($25.) for each notification made to the Pelham Police or Fire Department.
167-8. FAILURE TO COMPLY GROUNDS FOR PERMIT DENIAL
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter may constitute grounds for the Chief of Police or Fire Chief to deny the issuance of a permit.
167-9. ACTION ON EXCESSIVE FALSE ALARMS
After the Police or Fire Departments have received three (3) false alarms within a calendar year from any alarm user, the Chief of Police or Fire Chief shall notify the user in writing of such fact and require that the user submit a report, within ten (10) days of such notice, describing efforts to discover and eliminate the cause or causes of the false alarms. If the user fails to submit such a report within ten (10) days, the Chief of Police or Fire Chief may suspend the alarm user's permit, pending notice and hearing.
If the alarm user submits a report, as required by Subsection A, but the Chief of Police or Fire Chief determines that the report is unsatisfactory or that the alarm user has failed to show, by his report, that he has taken or will take reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce false alarms, then the Chief of Police or Fire Chief may issue a written notice of his intent to revoke or suspend the alarm user's permit.
Upon receipt of a notice of intent to revoke or suspend an alarm user's permit, pursuant to
this chapter, the alarm user may, within five (5) days of such receipt, submit a written request for a hearing before the Chief of Police or Fire Chief or their designee, setting forth the reasons why his permit should not be revoked or suspended.
At the hearing before the Chief of Police or Fire Chief or their designee, the holder of the
permit shall have the right to present evidence, cross-examine witnesses and to be represented by counsel. Such a hearing shall be informal and shall not be subject to the rules of evidence or formal courtroom procedure. After the hearing, the Chief of Police or Fire Chief or their designee may either issue an order of revocation, withdraw the notice of revocation or suspend the permit until such time that he is satisfied that the cause (or causes) of the false alarms has (or have) been eliminated.
An alarm user whose permit has been revoked is not precluded under this chapter from
applying for a new permit. The Chief of Police or Fire Chief, however, shall not be required to issue a new permit unless he is satisfied that the user's system has been properly serviced and its deficiencies have been corrected. The Chief of Police or Fire Chief may also impose reasonable restrictions and conditions upon the user before issuing a new permit. (These restrictions and/or conditions shall appear on the permit and shall provide for automatic revocation of the occurrence of three (3) false alarms in the remaining calendar year.)
167-10. PERMIT TO BE KEPT ON PROTECTED PREMISES
All alarms users to whom a permit has been issued shall keep the permit within the protected premises for which the permit was issued.
167-11. VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
Any alarm user who, after having a permit revoked and after exhausting his right to a hearing, fails to disconnect his alarm system shall be subject to penalties as set forth in RSA 31:39 III.
167-12. APPEALS AND WAIVERS OF FALSE ALARM SERVICE CHARGES
Any alarm user, owner or lessee who possesses an alarm user's permit may appeal false alarm service charges in writing to the Chief of Police or Fire Chief within ten (10) days after receipt of the notice of penalty.
The Chief of Police or Fire Chief or their designee may waive assessment of the service
charge when, in his judgment, reasonable attempts are being taken to discover and eliminate the cause of the false alarms.
167-13. LIABILITY OF POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS
The Police Department and Fire Department of the Town of Pelham shall take every reasonable precaution to assure that the alarm signals received by the Police and Fire Departments are given appropriate attention and are acted upon with dispatch. Nevertheless, the Police Department or Fire Department shall not be liable for any defects in the operation of alarm devices, for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm from such source nor for the failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of alarm systems or their components, the transmission of alarm signals or the relaying of such signals and messages. In the event that the Police Department or Fire Department finds it necessary to disconnect an alarm device after exhausting all other provisions of this chapter, the Police Department or Fire Department shall incur no liability by such action.
167-14. STATUS OF RECORDS KEPT
The records kept pursuant to this chapter shall not be public records.
167-15. EXISTING SYSTEMS TO COMPLY
Emergency alarm systems installed on or before the effective date of this chapter shall be required to meet all the requirements of this chapter.
If any provision contained in this chapter is held to be invalid for any reason by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not invalidate in any manner any other provision of this chapter.
167-17. EFFECTIVE DATE
The effective date of this chapter shall be July 1, 1982.
ALARM SYSTEMS ORDINANCE