City Code: 140:0

Section 140 - Regulating Fire Alarm Systems
Section 140:00. Purpose. This Ordinance regulates the use of fire alarms from misuse through frequency of false alarms.

Section 140:05. Definitions. For the purpose of this Ordinance the following definitions shall apply:

Subd. 1. Alarm System. Includes any alarm installation designed to be used for the prevention or detection of fire on the premises.

Subd. 2. Alarm User. The person or business using an alarm system to protect the premises, regardless of whether the system is owned or leased.

Subd. 3. Automatic Dialing Device. An automatic alarm system which automatically sends, over telephone lines, a prerecorded voice message or signal indicating the existence of an emergency situation.

Subd. 4. Calendar Year. The period January 1 through December 31 of each year.

Subd. 5. False Alarm. An alarm signal eliciting a response by personnel of the Citys fire department when a situation requiring a response does not, in fact, exist, and which is caused by the activation of an alarm system through mechanical failure, improper maintenance of the alarm system or the building, structure, or facility, alarm malfunction, improper installation or the inadvertence of the alarm user or its employees, family, or agents. A false alarm does not include an alarm caused by climatic conditions such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, utility line mishaps, violent conditions of nature, or any other conditions which are clearly beyond the control of the alarm manufacturer, installer, or user.

Subd. 6. Nonresidential. Commercial, industrial, business, State agencies, special purpose units of government, apartment complexes, schools, and hospitals.

Subd. 7. Residential Alarm User. Occupied housing units, residential homes, and condominiums.

Section 140:10. Regulations and Requirements.

Subd. 1. Alarm User Registration. Any alarm user shall fill out and return to the fire department the alarm user registration form as provided within thirty (30) days after installation of system.

Subd. 2. False Alarm Statement of Correction. Following the second false alarm within the calendar year, the alarm user shall fill out and return to the fire department, within five (5) days, the false alarm statement of corrections. This form shall contain a detailed statement of the corrective actions the alarm user has taken to prevent additional false alarms, and to notify the alarm user of impending forfeitures should additional false alarms occur.

Subd. 3. Installation of Alarm System. No person shall install an alarm system or use, monitor, and possess an operative alarm system, which utilizes taped or prerecorded messages, which deliver a telephone alarm message to the police or fire departments. No automatic dialing services or systems are permitted in any form, including automatic dialing of the emergency number 911.

Section 140:15. Schedule of Payments and Rates.

Subd. 1. Residential and nonresidential users of alarm systems shall be permitted two (2) false alarms per calendar year.

Subd. 2. Any alarm user who has more than two (2) false alarms at the same premises in any calendar year shall pay a fee set from time to time by ordinance of the City Council. Eff. 1/19/99

Subd. 3. There is hereby established a thirty (30) day grace period for all newly installed alarm systems. All false alarms occurring during this period shall not be considered part of the two (2) allowable false alarms per year. The installation date must be verified by a dated sales receipt for the alarm system, or a dated invoice from the installer of the alarm system.

Subd. 4. The false alarm is excused if prior notification stating the exact time and date is given to the dispatch center, and the alarm is activated for the purposes of testing or upgrading the alarm system.

Subd. 5. All payments provided for in this subsection shall be made to the City within thirty (30) days after mailing a statement to the alarm user. Payments not made within thirty (30) days are delinquent. All delinquent charges and penalties shall be certified by the City Clerk to the County Auditor each year providing for assessment of the delinquent amounts against the property of the delinquent alarm user.

Subd. 6. All information submitted in compliance with this Section shall be held in confidence and shall be deemed a confidential record exempt from discovery to the extent permitted by law. Subject to requirement of confidentiality, the Fire Chief may develop and maintain statistics for the purpose of ongoing alarm system evaluation.

Section 140:20. Unlawful Act.

Subd. 1. It is unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to comply with the regulations set forth in this Ordinance.

Eff. 11/17/1998

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