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Lewis County Code Ch. 9.15 - Alarm Systems

Chapter 9.15
ALARM SYSTEMS

Sections:

9.15.010    Definitions.

9.15.020    Application of chapter provisions.

9.15.030    Indemnity agreement.

9.15.040    Police alarms - Testing, monitoring.

9.15.050    Prohibited equipment.

9.15.060    Installation standards.

9.15.070    Installer’s identification card.

9.15.080    Discontinuing police responses to alarm(s).

9.15.090    Excessive false alarms.

9.15.100    Appeal of eligibility, false alarm charges, disconnection or discontinuance of service.

9.15.110    Violations - Penalty.

9.15.010 Definitions.

(1) “Alarm system” means any system, device or mechanism which, when activated, transmits to a monitoring service center, either electronically or by voice, a message for the purpose of evoking a police response.

(2) “Burglary alarm” means a system designed or used for the detection and reporting of unauthorized entry upon real property.

(3) “Sheriff” means the elected position of Lewis County sheriff or his designee.

(4) “False alarm” shall mean the activation of said alarm by means other than for which the alarm is intended including, but not limited to, alarm malfunctions, power failure and employee or subscriber error.

(5) “Robbery alarm” means a system designed or used to alert others of a robbery. See RCW 9A.56.190. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 1, 1990]

9.15.020 Application of chapter provisions.

This chapter shall apply only to alarm systems or equipment designed to be monitored so as to convey to a monitoring service center, either electronically or by voice, a message for the purpose of evoking a police response. None of the provisions of this chapter shall apply to the installation or maintenance of alarms which are not so monitored. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 2, 1990]

9.15.030 Indemnity agreement.

Any person, firm, or corporation desiring to originate an alarm system to evoke a police response within the county shall first sign an indemnity agreement holding the county harmless from any liability involving the failure of any agency alarm, circuit or equipment or the discontinuance of emergency response actions ordered because of such failure. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 3, 1990]

9.15.040 Police alarms - Testing, monitoring.

(1) Alarm testing shall be the responsibility of the subscriber and/or the alarm company. No alarm verification will be conducted by the Lewis County sheriff’s office.

(2) Alarm subscribers shall provide to their alarm monitoring service a notice of telephone numbers at which persons authorized to enter the premises of the subscriber can be reached at all times so that one of said persons is able to respond to the premises within 30 minutes after being notified by police to do so. If the subscriber fails to respond to location upon request by shift supervisor, further police responses shall be terminated.

(3) Alarms shall not be activated to summon police for any purpose other than burglar alarms for burglaries; robbery alarms for robberies. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111-A, 1990; Ord. 1111 § 4, 1990]

9.15.050 Prohibited equipment.

(1) Proprietary alarm equipment designed to alert any county emergency service by providing unattended automatic dialing of any public telephone number of any county emergency service for the purpose of transmitting a prerecorded message is prohibited.

(2) Combination alarms designed to alert any county emergency service will not be allowed within the county unless there is a distinct separation in the transmittal of any specific alarm activation. For purposes of this section, combination alarms shall include but not be limited to devices combining burglary and fire alarms, devices combining burglary and holdup alarms, and devices combining burglary and trouble alarms. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 5, 1990]

9.15.060 Installation standards.

All monitored alarm systems to summon police shall be installed in accordance with the ordinances and building codes of Lewis County and of the state of Washington. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 6, 1990]

9.15.070 Installer’s identification card.

(1) An installer’s identification card is not required when a residential installation is being performed by the owner who is also the occupier of the residence protected by the alarm system.

(2) No persons, except as set forth in subsection (1) above, shall install, service or maintain any police alarm systems within the county without first obtaining an identification card from the sheriff of Lewis County, or with the sheriff’s approval from any other police agency within Lewis County which has, prior to the issuance of the identification card, conducted a criminal history check of the person. An initial identification card fee will be assessed upon application. A fee of $25.00 made payable to the Lewis County sheriff’s office and an additional check or money order made payable to the Bureau of Criminal Identification, BCI, to cover background investigation through fingerprint processing. The card will be valid for five years from the date of issue. A change of employer shall invalidate the installer’s identification card.

(3) Renewal of the identification card may be made through application and payment of $25.00 to the sheriff’s office and payment of the current BCI processing fee, and approval of the sheriff’s office. Applicants. If a criminal history check reveals that an applicant has been convicted of any felony within the past ten (10) years involving theft, dishonesty or moral turpitude, such applicant shall be considered ineligible for issuance of an identification card, as in the bests interests of the public safety and welfare, and protection of private and public property. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 7, 1990]

9.15.080 Discontinuing police responses to alarm(s).

(1) The sheriff may discontinue police response to any alarm location:

(a) Where the alarm system has resulted in more than six false alarm responses by the department within a continuous 90-day period; or

(b) Upon failure of the alarm subscriber to pay a penalty charge, as set forth in this chapter within 60 days of billing.

(2) The sheriff shall notify such subscriber in writing by personal service or a form of mail requiring a signed receipt showing when and to whom it was delivered of the specific date in which police responses will be discontinued. The date being no sooner than 10 days after the notice is deposited in the mail.

(3) The subscriber may within 10 days of the first attempt at delivery of the mail appeal the decision to the sheriff if he/she feels that the action is being improperly assessed. A decision by the sheriff or his/her designee on the appeal shall be final. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 8, 1990]

9.15.090 Excessive false alarms.

(1) Service charges for false alarms from any one location shall be assessed as follows:

(a) For the first two false alarms within any continuous 90-day period, no charge will be assessed;

(b) For the third false alarm within a continuous 90-day period, a charge of $50.00 will be assessed;

(c) For the fourth false alarm within a continuous 90-day period, a charge of $75.00 will be assessed;

(d) For the fifth false alarm and every false alarm thereafter within a continuous 90-day period, a charge of $150.00 per false alarm will be assessed.

(e) For false alarms from any one location which exceed five false alarms within a continuous 90-day period OR for any non-payment of any false alarm charges within sixty (60) days of billing, the sheriff may 1) order the disconnection of such alarm, and 2) seek abatement and injunction of further operation of any such alarm as a public nuisance, until necessary corrective action has been taken and/or any outstanding charges have been paid; provided that no disconnection shall be ordered as to any premises required by law to have an alarm system in operation.

(2) If the sheriff determines that a new system has been installed or adequate repairs have been made to an existing alarm system, a new continuous 90-day period, for purposes of this section, shall commence.

The subscriber shall be responsible to provide documentation of corrective action.

(3) Any false alarm involving a patrol response from the sheriff’s office will be considered a billable alarm. If a question arises as to the validity of an alarm, the final determination for purposes of charges or disconnection, or discontinuance of service will be made by the sheriff or his designee. False alarm penalties referred to in this section will be billed directly by the county to the alarm customer involved in the false alarm. [Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 9, 1990]

9.15.100 Appeal of Eligibility, False Alarm Charges, Disconnection or Discontinuance of Service.

Any person, firm, or corporation found ineligible for an installer’s identification card, or assessed a false alarm charge, ordered to disconnect such alarm or discontinuance of service by the Sheriff has a right to an appeal to contest the finding of ineligibility, or the charge, disconnection or discontinuance of service.

(1) The appeal shall be directed to and reviewed by the Lewis County Sheriff.

(2) At the conclusion of the review, the Sheriff shall determine whether the finding of ineligibility, or the imposition of the charge, disconnection or discontinuance of service was proper.

(3) If the finding of ineligibility, or the charge, disconnection or discontinuance of service is found proper, then any such charge, if applicable, together with costs and the expenses of the hearing shall be assessed against the person, firm, or corporation. If the finding of ineligibility, or the charge, disconnection or discontinuance of service is not found to be proper, then the person, firm, or corporation shall bear no costs. The finding of the Sheriff shall be final.

(4) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the Sheriff from exercising discretion in assessing penalties, costs or arranging time payments if justice so requires. [Ord. 1157, 1998]

9.15.110 Violation - Penalty.

Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this code shall be subject to the monetary penalties in LCC 1.20.020 and 1.20.040. [Ord. 1180 §13, 2002; Ord. 1157, 1998; Ord. 1111 § 10, 1990]