Chapter 50, Alarms
ARTICLE I, False Alarms
§ 50-1. Purpose.
The purpose of this article is to reduce needless alarms to which the Wethersfield Police Department and the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department respond to as a result of the activation of burglar, holdup, panic and fire alarms that automatically summon the Police Department or the Fire Department either via a central station, the Wethersfield Police Department or automatic dialers.
§ 50-2. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ALARM SYSTEM—An assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which the Police or Fire Department is expected to respond. In this chapter, the term "alarm system" shall include but not be limited to the terms "automatic holdup alarm systems," "burglar alarm systems," "holdup alarm systems," "manual holdup alarm systems," "audible alarm systems" and "fire alarm systems." Alarm systems which monitor temperature, humidity or any other condition not directly related to the detection of an unauthorized intrusion into a premises or any attempted robbery or a fire or smoke condition at a premises are specifically excluded from the provision of this chapter, as are alternative alarm systems designed to notify of medical emergencies.
FALSE ALARM—The activation of any alarm system to which the Police and/or Fire Department responds which is not caused by:
- Fire, a criminal act or other emergency.
- An act of nature, such as an earthquake, tornado or hurricane.
- Circumstances occurring off the protected property and within the control of the subscriber, his alarm business or his answering service.
- A person motivated solely by criminal, malicious or mischievous intent.
SUBSCRIBER—A person who buys and/or leases or otherwise obtains an alarm system and thereafter installs it or has it installed. The term "subscriber" shall also mean a person who has control of premises in which an operable alarm system exists, with the ultimate responsibility for the alarm system being with the property owner.
§ 50-3. Permits required term liability of Town; penalties for offenses.
§ 50-4. Permit applications.
- No person shall possess or use an alarm system within the Town of Wethersfield without first applying for and receiving an alarm user permit.
- Any permit issued hereunder shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance.
- Any permit issued hereunder shall be predicated upon the express condition that the permittee shall indemnify and hold the Town of Wethersfield harmless from any and all damages arising out of the activities of any permittee.
- Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to a penalty of $250.
§ 50-5. Alarm registration renewal.
- All applications for alarm user permits shall be accompanied by an application fee of $25 and filed with the Police Department. The application must state where the alarm device or alarm system will be located, the name of the installer, the type of device or system, a list of persons to be contacted in the event of an alarm, and other information as may be required for the public's health and safety.
- All alarm devices and alarm systems are subject to approval by the Chief of Police prior to installation, with the exception of any fire alarm system, which shall be subject to approval by the Fire Marshal.
- Existing alarm systems must be registered and a permit issued within 90 days of the date of adoption of this amended article.
Permits for all alarm systems shall require an annual renewal one year from the date of permit or registration issuance. Renewals shall be accompanied by a renewal fee of $25 and filed with the Police Department. Except that permits for alarm systems servicing solely residential property shall require a renewal every three years from the date of permit or registration issuance and shall be accompanied by a renewal fee of $25.
§ 50-6. Imposition of fines.
§ 50-7. Right to appeal.
- Effective July 1, 2005, the Town of Wethersfield will charge the subscriber of an alarm system a fine for each emergency police and/or fire response to a false alarm as follows:
- For the first two false alarms in any one calendar year, a warning;
- For the third false alarm in any one calendar year, a $50 penalty with such penalty increasing in $25 increments for each false alarm in any one calendar year thereafter.
- If the subscriber is not the owner of the property in which the alarm system is located, the Town shall give the property owner notice of the occurrence of the first false alarm generated by the alarm system of the property.
The subscriber in receipt of a violation ticket may appeal the fine at anytime within five days of the receipt of said notice by filing an appeals notice at police headquarters. After review of said appeal, the Police Chief or Fire Chief, in the event of fire alarm systems, will make a determination as to whether or not the circumstances surrounding the false alarm justify the waiver of the fine. The subscriber will be notified in writing as to the results of the appeal.
§ 50-8. Payment of fines.
All fines payable under this article will be made to the Tax Collector and will be due and payable within 30 days of the day of notice or, if appealed, within 30 days of the date of decision on the appeal. Payments not received within this period will result in the automatic doubling of the fine. In addition, if the subscriber subject to the fine is not the property owner, the Tax Collector shall give the property owner notice of the subscriber's failure to pay the fine in the allowable period. The property owner shall have a fifteen-day period from the date of such notice in which to pay the original fine at the original amount. If not paid within such fifteen-day period, the amount of the fine which the property owner may pay shall be doubled.
§ 50-9. Administration and enforcement.
The Police Chief will enforce and administer this article and any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, except that the Fire Chief shall have jurisdiction over the fire alarm systems.
ARTICLE II, Fire Alarms
§ 50-10. Purpose.
The purpose of this article is to reduce needless alarms to which the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department responds and to provide standards and regulations for the installation of fire alarm systems that automatically summon the Fire Department either via a central station, the Wethersfield Police Department or automatic dialers.
§ 50-11. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FIRE ALARM SYSTEM—A system of electrical devices and circuits installed, arranged and maintained to form, transmit and send signals indicating an emergency requiring immediate action to safeguard life and property from fire, whether or not required by Town ordinance or by the State of Connecticut Fire Safety Code.
§ 50-12. Permit required; application.
§ 50-13. Administration and enforcement.
- Before any new alarm system or system modification shall be installed or performed in any commercial or residential building or structure, a permit shall be obtained from the Building Department.
- Upon application for a permit, the following information shall be supplied:
- Complete information regarding the system, including specifications, wiring diagrams and floor plans, shall be submitted for review and approval by the Fire Marshal of the Town of Wethersfield prior to the installation of the equipment and wiring. Such plans shall be stamped with the approval of the Fire Marshal and such approval shall be valid for one year from the date of approval, after which time said plans shall be subject to an additional review. The Fire Marshal shall approve only one fire alarm system design per building.
- All devices, combination of devices and equipment constructed and installed in conformity with the standard shall be approved for the purpose for which they are to be used and shall be shown on appropriate drawings. The submitted drawing shall show all detector placement on dedicated fire alarm system drawings (No other system shall be shown).
- All components shall be listed for fire alarm use by a testing organization acceptable to the Fire Marshal of the Town of Wethersfield.
- All central station equipment connections shall comply with NFPA 71.
- All wiring and devices shall meet the requirement of the NFPA 70, NFPA 71, NFPA 72, NFPA 72E and NFPA 74.
- Systems shall be under the supervision of a responsible qualified person or organization satisfactory to the Fire Marshal, who shall, under contractual agreement, make all inspections, tests and repairs within seven working days. Qualified persons shall be licensed by the State of Connecticut and shall hold a minimum L-5 license.
- Prior to the Fire Marshal's and Building Inspector's making the final inspection, a contract must be in evidence between the building owner and an approved fire alarm testing company for the testing and maintenance (in accordance with NFPA 72H) of the building alarm system.
The administration of this article shall be by the Division of Fire, and the enforcement shall be by the Fire Marshal of the Town of Wethersfield.
§ 50-14. Penalties for offenses; effect on existing systems.
- Any fire alarm system installed after the effective date of this article shall conform to the requirements of this article. If such fire alarm system does not so conform, then the property owner shall have a thirty-day period from receipt of notice that the fire alarm system is nonconforming to bring the system into conformance. Failure to do so shall result in the imposition of a fine of $100.
- Any fire alarm system installed prior to the effective date of this article shall be registered with the Fire Marshal of the Town of Wethersfield within 60 days of the effective date of this article. If any property owner fails to register a fire alarm system within the registration period and within 30 days after receipt of notice that he has failed to register such system, then the property owner shall be fined the sum of $250.
- The registration or approval of a fire alarm system pursuant to the provisions of any prior ordinance shall constitute compliance with the approval and registration requirements of this article.