Menu
Button: Make a Payment Button: Newsletter Mailing List

Icon: Healthcare LawHands-On Experience

Providing legal advice

and services since 1977

Edmonds Municipal Code Ch. 5.20 - False Alarms

 

Edmonds Municipal Code Ch. 5.20 - False Alarms

 

FALSE ALARMS

Sections:

5.20.010  Purpose .

5.20.020  Definitions.

5.20.030  Emergency contact card – Termination of false alarm.

5.20.040  False alarm – Unlawful conduct.

5.20.050  False alarm – Fees.

5.20.060  Notice.

5.20.070  Penalty.

5.20.010 Purpose .

This chapter is intended to reduce the number of false alarms occurring within the city and the resultant waste of city resources by providing for corrective administrative action, including fees and potential disconnection and criminal penalties for violations.

5.20.020 Definitions.

The following words used in this chapter, shall be defined as set forth in this section:

A. “Person” includes any natural person, partnership, joint stock company, unincorporated association or society, or a corporation of any character whatsoever.

B. “False alarm” includes the activation of a burglary and/or robbery alarm by other than an unlawful or attempted unlawful entry (to the premises) or when no robbery or burglary is being committed or attempted on the premises.

5.20.030 Emergency contact card – Termination of false alarm.

A. It is unlawful to have or maintain on any premises a burglary and/or robbery alarm unless there is on file with the Edmonds police department an emergency contact card on a form provided by the police department containing the name(s) and telephone number(s) of person(s) authorized to enter such premises and turn off any alarm and a signed statement by the owner or occupier of the premises authorizing police officers to disconnect an alarm when required by this chapter.

B. It is also unlawful for any person authorized to terminate a false alarm and listed on the emergency contact card to refuse to respond and turn off a false alarm within one hour of being requested to do so by the Edmonds police department.

C. Any alarm audible upon abutting property for a period in excess of one hour is declared to be a public nuisance and may be summarily abated by the police department.

5.20.040 False alarm – Unlawful conduct.

A. It is unlawful for anyone to activate any robbery and/or burglary alarm for the purpose of summoning police except in the event of an actual or attempted unlawful entry, burglary or robbery, or for anyone notifying the police of any activated alarm, and having knowledge that such activation was apparently caused by an electrical or other malfunction of the alarm system to fail at the same time to notify the police of such apparent malfunction.

B. Every person who possesses any premises with a burglary and/or robbery alarm shall maintain the alarm system in good repair and any person failing to do so is guilty of failing to maintain an alarm system. Three false alarms from any alarm system in any 12-month period shall be prima facie evidence of failure to comply with this subsection by the person having or maintaining such alarm.

5.20.050 False alarm – Fees.

A. The city shall impose the following administrative sanctions upon a police response to any false alarm:

1. Upon a first response to a premises at which no other false alarm has occurred, notice of the conditions and requirements of this chapter shall be given to the person having or maintaining such alarm system. The notice shall also request that possible causes of the apparent malfunction be examined, and any corrective action be taken to prevent future occurrences.

2. If a second response to a premises occurs as a result of a false alarm within a six month period, the person having or maintaining such burglary and/or robbery alarm shall, within three working days after notice to do so, submit a written report to the chief of police on a prescribed form setting forth the cause of such false alarm, the corrective action taken, and such other information as the chief of police or his designee may reasonably require to determine the cause of such false alarm, any mitigating circumstances and necessary corrective action. The chief of police or his designee shall be authorized to inspect or cause to be inspected the alarm system at such premises, prescribe necessary corrective action, and shall give notice to the person having or maintaining such alarm system of the conditions and requirements of this section. All costs of inspection and corrective action shall be borne by the individual having or maintaining the alarm on the premises.

3. If a third response to a premises occurs within a six-month period, the person having or maintaining such alarm system shall, within three working days after notice to do so, submit a written report to the chief of police on prescribed forms setting forth the cause of such false alarm, as well as a written statement by a certified alarm repair service, indicating the action taken and a statement of reliability. In addition, notice will be given that future occurrences within the same six month period will result in a monetary assessment of $50.00.

4. If a fourth or subsequent response to a premises occurs within the same six month period, a fee of $50.00 will be assessed with respect to each and every response and the chief of police may order the person having or maintaining the alarm system to disconnect such alarm; provided that any business required by law to maintain an alarm shall not be subject to disconnection. Any alarm which is disconnected shall not be reconnected until the following conditions have been satisfied:

a. All monetary assessments have been paid; and

b. The alarm has been repaired, certified and inspected by the police department; and/or

c. If training is required to prevent future false alarms, such training has been provided.

B. Monetary assessments imposed in accordance with this section shall be paid to the city clerk within 15 days of the date of the notice. The city clerk shall not renew the business license of any business which fails to pay a monetary assessment and/or otherwise comply with this chapter; provided, that such license may be reinstated upon payment to the city clerk of the monetary assessments and compliance with all other provisions of this chapter.

5.20.060 Notice.

Notice of imposition of any administrative decision or sanction, including the imposition of a monetary assessment or order of disconnection under the provisions of this chapter shall be given to the person having or maintaining a burglary and/or robbery alarm on premises owned or occupied by him or her; provided, that with respect to business premises, the owner, manager, or chief administrative agent regularly assigned and employed on the premises at the time of the occurrence of a false alarm shall be presumed to be the person having or maintaining the alarm on the business premises and to whom notice shall be given.

5.20.070 Penalty.

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by state statute adopted by reference, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000. [Ord. 2853 § 20, 1991; Ord. 2700, 1989].