Northborough Town Hall
63 Main Street, Northborough, MA 01532
Alarm Bylaws
2-08-020     General regulations

      [Amended STM 09-09-1996 Art. 3]

A.  Alarm systems may be connected to the alarm-receiving equipment at the municipal communications center.

B.   The selected alarm company shall be the sole provider of fire/security receiving equipment for the town. This company shall donate, install, service, maintain and upgrade this alarm receiving and communications equipment and multiconductor communications as requested by the Fire and Police Chiefs so that these devices are capable of receiving and transmitting alarms in accordance with NFPA 72C and as specified and approved by the Fire and Police Chiefs. In consideration for these services, the alarm company shall set forth an annual fee for all nonmunicipal accounts. This fee shall be approved by the Fire and Police Chiefs. Each nonmunicipal subscriber will be required to pay the alarm company for services rendered with respect to the municipal alarm-receiving equipment. Such services shall be set forth in the form of a written contract between the alarm company and each subscriber. After recovery of the initial capital outlay for the alarm receivers, the alarm company shall return one-half (1/2) of all fees collected to the town. The provisions of this subsection relate solely to receiving and communication equipment. Any alarm user may contract with any alarm company of his choice for the sale, installation, maintenance and/or servicing of the alarm system to be installed on his premises. System components installed in all future alarm systems or additions to existing systems shall conform to the written alarm system specifications of the Police or Fire Department. In addition, all systems shall consist of equipment designed for the use for which it is intended and shall be approved for such use by an independent testing laboratory and the authority having jurisdiction.

C.  The alarm user or the alarm business contracted for servicing the system shall be responsible for obtaining the leased telephone line between the users' premises and the alarm-receiving equipment at the municipal communications center and for furnishing the appropriate interface equipment, if required, in order to provide an input signal which is compatible with the receiving equipment.

D.  The provisions of § 2-08-040 concerning false alarms shall apply to all alarm users or persons having direct connect systems, except municipal agencies.

E.   All alarm users of emergency medical or nonresidential fire alarm systems shall equip the alarmed premises with an approved Knox-Box of sufficient size to hold all pertinent data and provide the Fire Department access to the facility. All Knox-Boxes are to have a red locator strobe light centered over them and shall contain a complete set of access keys and a typewritten laminated list of emergency contacts. In the event that the facility has a contingency plan, a copy of this plan shall be stored on site in a Knox-Box Model Number 1300, 1220 or 1100.

F.   The alarm user shall be responsible to provide the Fire or Police Chief with current information relative to the emergency contacts, hazardous operations, and access keys.

(Prior code § 51-2)

2-08-030     Control requirements; curtailment of signals

A.  Every alarm user shall submit to the Police or Fire Chief the names and telephone numbers of at least two (2) other persons who can be reached at any time, day or night, and who are authorized to respond to an emergency signal transmitted by an alarm system and who can open the premises wherein the alarm system is installed.

B.   If entry upon the property outside the home or building in which the alarm system is located is made in accordance with this section, the police officer so entering upon such property shall not conduct, engage in or undertake any search, seizure, inspection or investigation while he is upon the property, shall not cause any unnecessary damage to the alarm system or to any part of the home or building and shall leave the property immediately after the audible signal has ceased. After an entry upon a property has been made in accordance with this section, the Police Chief shall have the property secured, if necessary. The reasonable costs and expenses of abating the nuisance in accordance with this section may be assessed to the alarm user, said assessment not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.).


C.  Within ten (10) days after abatement of a nuisance in accordance with this section, the alarm user may request a hearing before the Board of Selectmen and may present evidence showing that the signal emitted by his alarm system was not a public nuisance at the time of abatement, that unnecessary damage was caused to his property in the course of the abatement, that the costs of the abatement should not be assessed to him or that the requirements of this section were not fulfilled. The Board shall hear all interested parties and may, at its discretion, reimburse the alarm user for the repairs to his property necessitated by the abatement or excuse the alarm user from paying the costs of abatement.

(Prior code § 51-3)

 

2-08-040     False alarms

      [Amended STM 09-09-1996 Art. 3]

A.  When emergency messages are received by the Police or Fire Department that evidence false alarms, the Police Chief or the Fire Chief shall take such action as may be appropriate under Subsections B, C, D and E of this section, and when so required by the terms of the aforementioned subsections, order that the use of a security alarm system be discontinued or order the immediate repair and upgrade of a fire alarm system in such a manner as to reduce the occurrence of false alarms.

B.   After the Police or Fire Department has recorded three (3) separate false alarms within the calendar year from an alarm system, the Police Chief or the Fire Chief shall notify the alarm user in writing and by certified mail of such fact and require said user to submit within fifteen (15) days after receipt of such notice a report describing efforts to discover and eliminate the cause or causes of the false alarms. If said user, on the basis of absence from town or on any other reasonable basis, requests an extension of time for filing the report, the Police Chief or Fire Chief may extend the fifteen-day period for a reasonable period. If the said user fails to submit such a report within fifteen (15) days or within any such extended period, the Police Chief shall order the use of the security alarm system be discontinued, and in the case of a fire alarm system, the Fire Chief shall issue a notice of violation ordering the repair of the system.  Any such discontinuance or repair shall be effectuated within fifteen (15) days from the date of receipt of the Police or Fire Chief's order.

C.  In the event that the Police or Fire Chief determines that a report submitted in accordance with Subsection B of this section is unsatisfactory or that the alarm user has failed to show by the report that he has taken or will take reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce false alarms, then the Police Chief shall order the use of security alarms discontinued, and in the case of fire alarms, the Fire Chief shall order repair. Any such action shall be effectuated within fifteen (15) days of the Police or Fire Chief's order.

D.  In the event that the Police or Fire Department records five (5) false alarms within the calendar year from an alarm system, the Police Chief may order the use of the burglar alarm system discontinued for the calendar year, but for not less than six (6) months from the date the alarm was disconnected. The Fire Chief may order a fire alarm or emergency medical alarm system repaired or replaced so that it meets the requirements of this chapter. In the event that the Police or Fire Department records eight (8) false alarms within the calendar year from an alarm system, the Police Chief shall order the user of the burglar alarm system to discontinue use of the alarm system for the calendar year, but for not less than six (6) months from the date the alarm was disconnected. If eight (8) false alarms are recorded from a fire or emergency medical alarm, the Fire Chief shall determine the extent of repairs and order the system repaired or replaced within fifteen (15) days from the date of the eighth false alarm. At this point the Fire Chief shall pursue action through the building inspector when the system creating the problem is a non-residential fire alarm system.


E.   Fees.
      (1)  Any user of an alarm system which transmits false alarms shall be assessed a fine more commensurate with the Departments' costs in accordance with the following schedule for each false alarm in excess of three (3) occurring within the calendar year. These fines may be adjusted by the Fire or Police Chief, who will provide the Board of Selectmen with an annual report of the status of these fines and the outstanding balances which are due.

            (a)  Burglar or security alarms: fifty dollars ($50.) per alarm.

            (b)  Emergency medical alarms: fifty dollars ($50.) per alarm.

            (c)  Fire alarms.
                  [1]  One hundred dollars ($100.) per alarm [four (4) to six (6)].

                  [2]  Two hundred dollars ($200.) per alarm [seven (7) to ten (10)].

                  [3]  Three hundred dollars ($300.) per alarm [eleven (11) or more].

      (2)  If a fire alarm system has been repaired but the fee not paid, then the Fire Chief shall pursue noncriminal disposition under MGLA C. 40, § 21D, of these outstanding charges unless they are vacated or modified by an appeal [within sixty (60) days] to the Board of Selectmen.

 

F.   Any appeal of a notice of discontinuance, notice of violation or invoice for false alarm charges or penalties under § 2-08-050 must be presented within sixty (60) days of receipt of the above-mentioned notice. Thereafter, the Board shall not hear any such appeal. After hearing such evidence, the Board may affirm, vacate or modify the order of discontinuance or the notice of violation.

G.  After an unsuccessful appeal or the expiration of the appeal period, either small claims court will be utilized for collection or collection will be transferred to a contract agency selected by the Town Administrator.

(Prior code § 51-4)

 

2-08-050     Violations and penalties

      [Amended 09-09-1996 STM]


A.  The following acts and omissions shall constitute violations of this chapter punishable by a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100.):

(1)  Failure to obey an order of the Police Chief to discontinue the use of a burglar alarm system or failure to repair or discontinue use of a fire alarm system within thirty (30) days as outlined in the Fire Chief's notice of violation unless the appeal process has been initiated.

(2)  Failure to pay two (2) or more consecutive fines assessed under this chapter within sixty (60) days from the date of assessment.

      (3)  Failure to comply with the requirements of §§ 2-08-030 of this chapter.

B.   Each day during which the aforesaid violations continue shall constitute a separate offense.

C.  Any violation or invoice outstanding past the sixty-day appeal period shall be considered overdue and subject to the process of noncriminal disposition as promulgated under MGLA C. 40, § 21D.

(Prior code § 51-5)