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Puyallup Municipal Code Ch. 9.01

Chapter 9.01
ALARM SYSTEMS

Sections:

9.01.010    Purpose.

9.01.020    Definitions.

9.01.030    License required to operate alarm systems business – Fee – Permit required before installation.

9.01.040    Alarm business license procedure and requirements.

9.01.050    Information required on alarm business license application.

9.01.060    Employee’s registration.

9.01.070    Bond required.

9.01.080    Suspension and revocation of licenses.

9.01.090    Renewal of alarm business license.

9.01.110    Inspections.

9.01.130    Instruction as to the operation of the system – User responsible for maintenance – Service contracts.

9.01.140    Persons responding to activated alarms.

9.01.150    Notifying police of alarms – Records.

9.01.160    Local or audible alarm system cutoff.

9.01.170    Operational defects to be remedied.

9.01.190    Renewal of alarm user’s permit.

9.01.200    Records of number of accounts.

9.01.210    Automatic dialing and prerecorded telephone messages prohibited.

9.01.220    Maintenance of alarms – Requirements – Notification.

9.01.230    Improper activation of alarm.

9.01.240    False alarms.

9.01.250    Fees.

9.01.260    Penalty for violations.

9.01.010 Purpose.

Since there are a growing number of alarm systems being sold and installed in the city of Puyallup, Washington, and its environs, causing the Puyallup police department to respond to alarm signals from such systems, and since there are a growing number of signals which are not the result of a burglary or robbery and recognizing the value of effective alarm systems in deterring crime and apprehending criminals, it is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the installation of alarm systems, to improve system effectiveness, and to reduce, insofar as possible, the number of false alarms causing police department response. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(1) An “alarm business” means any person engaged in the business of installing, planning the installing, assisting in planning the installing, servicing, maintaining, repairing, or replacing alarm systems in the city of Puyallup, or its environs.

(2) “Alarm condition” means an actual or attempted burglary or robbery.

(3) “Alarm system” means any mechanism, equipment, or device which is designed to detect an unauthorized entry into any building or onto any property, or to direct attention to a robbery in progress, and to signal the above occurrences either by a local or audible alarm or by a silent or remote alarm. Alarm systems shall not include alarms installed in motor vehicles which by their nature are mobile and are intended to prevent theft through the creation of a loud noise. Alarm devices which automatically dial telephone numbers and/or play prerecorded messages are prohibited as provided in PMC 9.01.210.

(4) An “applicant” shall be any person who has requested or is about to request licensing as an alarm system business operator, or any person who has requested or is about to request a user permit to install, operate, or maintain an alarm system at a particular location.

(5) “Employee” is a person who is employed by an alarm business and who sells, installs, services, maintains, repairs, or replaces alarm systems in the city of Puyallup, or its environs.

(6) “False alarm” means an alarm signal transmitted in the absence of an alarm condition which results in police department response to the location of the alarm.

(7) “Local or audible alarm” means an alarm that when activated makes a loud noise at or near the protected area or floods the site with lights, or both.

(8) “Person” includes any individual, partnership, corporation or association.

(9) “Silent or remote alarm” means an alarm without an obvious local indication that an alarm has been activated, which transmits a signal to a remote monitoring station.

(10) “User” means any person who installs, operates, or maintains, or engages another person to install, operate, or maintain an alarm system at a particular location which he owns or leases.

(11) The “environs” of the city of Puyallup are those geographical areas and locations designated by the Puyallup city council by resolution, from time to time, in their sole discretion. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.030 License required to operate alarm systems business – Fee – Permit required before installation.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to own, manage, conduct or carry on the business of installing, planning the installing, assisting in planning the installing, servicing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, moving or removing, or to cause to be installed, serviced, maintained, repaired, replaced, moved, or removed in or on any building or other property within the city of Puyallup, or its environs, any alarm system, unless he obtains a valid license therefor in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The fee for such license shall be $50.00 semiannually.

(2) It is unlawful for any alarm business to install or maintain a burglary or robbery alarm system at a particular location unless the owner or lessee of the property has a permit therefor as provided by subsection (1) of this section. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.040 Alarm business license procedure and requirements.

(1) Every initial applicant for an alarm business license shall file an application with the Puyallup city clerk in duplicate which shall be verified under oath. Upon receipt of the application, the city clerk shall refer it to the Puyallup police department for an investigation of the applicant’s criminal record and other pertinent information on the application. The applicant shall report to the Puyallup police department where his fingerprints and picture will be taken to facilitate the investigation. If the applicant is a partnership, association or corporation, each person whose name is required to appear on the application by PMC 9.01.050 shall report to the police department for fingerprinting and photographing. Upon completion of the investigation, the police department shall refer the application back to the city clerk along with a report of its findings and a recommendation. Each person required to be investigated shall pay a $50.00 fee to the police department to cover the cost of investigation.

(2) The city clerk shall, upon consideration of the application and the police department’s recommendation, approve or deny the application. If the application is denied, the applicant may appeal such denial to the Puyallup city council in the same manner as provided under PMC 9.01.080 for an appeal of a suspension, cancellation or revocation of such a license.

(3) No alarm business license shall be issued to any person if the applicant or any of the persons whose names are required to appear on the application by PMC 9.01.050 has been convicted of a crime involving theft, fraud, dishonesty, or receiving or possessing stolen property, or any sex offense.

(4) A transfer of any license issued hereunder is expressly prohibited. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.050 Information required on alarm business license application.

Every application for an alarm business license shall contain the following:

(1) The full name, age, residence, present and previous occupation of the applicant;

(2) The address or a specific description of the location of the principal place of business of the applicant;

(3) Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime involving theft, fraud, dishonesty, or receiving or possessing stolen property, or any sex offense;

(4) Such other information prescribed by the city clerk deemed necessary to properly evaluate the qualification of the applicant;

(5) The information contained in subsections (1) through (4) shall be provided for all partners or members in the event the applicant is a partnership or association, and for all directors and officers in the event the applicant is a corporation. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.060 Employee’s registration.

(1) It is unlawful for any alarm business to employ, and for any person to accept employment with an alarm business unless and until such employee has registered and obtained an employee registration card from the Puyallup police department and has paid a $15.00 investigation fee therefor. The issuance of such card shall necessitate that the person report to the Puyallup police department for fingerprinting and photographing. No person shall be issued a registration card who shall have been convicted of a crime involving theft, fraud, dishonesty, or receiving or possessing stolen property, or any sex offense.

(2) Each employee registration card shall set forth the full name and address of the employee and the name of the alarm business by whom he is employed. Such registration card shall be valid only so long as the employee remains in the employ of the alarm business listed on the card. When an employee is terminated from employment with an alarm business, it is unlawful for the employee to fail to immediately surrender his registration card to his employer, and it is unlawful for the employer to fail to immediately deliver or mail by registered or certified mail such surrendered registration card to the Puyallup police department.

(3) If for some valid reason the employer is unable to obtain the employee’s registration card upon termination, he shall by letter (either certified or registered) notify the Puyallup police department within 10 days of such termination. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.070 Bond required.

(1) No license shall be issued to conduct an alarm business until the applicant files a surety bond with the city clerk in the amount of $10,000 with surety acceptable to and approved by the city attorney, conditioned upon the applicant fully complying with all of the provisions of this chapter, all other laws of the city and any statutes of the state of Washington regulating and concerning alarm systems. The bond shall be taken in the name of the people of the city and any legal action on the bond may be brought by the city of Puyallup or any aggrieved person in the name of the city to recover damages suffered by reason of such illegal or wrongful act.

(2) Every alarm business shall maintain such surety bond in full force and effect while licensed under this chapter, and upon failure to do so, its license shall be suspended until such bond is renewed. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.080 Suspension and revocation of licenses.

Alarm business licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be suspended, canceled, or revoked by the Puyallup city council after written notice of not less than 15 days, followed by a hearing before the city council. Part or all of the hearing may be conducted by the city council in executive session if security of the city, its personnel or its citizens would be served thereby. Suspension, cancellation or revocation shall be for the following reasons:

(1) Any violation of this chapter;

(2) Conviction of the licensee of any crime involving theft, fraud, dishonesty, or receiving or possessing stolen property, or any sex offense;

(3) Conducting an alarm system business in an unlawful manner or in a manner detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare;

(4) Failure of the alarm system business to provide its customers with alarm systems and/or services which meet the standards of performance required by this chapter. Evidence of such failure includes, but is not limited to, a showing that products provided by the alarm system business are generally inferior to those required under this chapter, resulting in numerous breakdowns and/or frequent false alarm caused by the failure of the equipment, or that the alarm system business has failed to service or maintain alarm systems as required by its service contracts;

(5) Noncompliance with a notice to take corrective action as provided under PMC 9.01.170 where the alarm business is responsible under a service contract. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.090 Renewal of alarm business license.

An alarm business license must be renewed semiannually and the $50.00 license fee must be paid with each renewal. The renewal of an alarm business license may be denied for the same reasons that an application for an original license may be denied. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.110 Inspections.

(1) The city building inspector, or his designee, is authorized to make inspections of alarm systems that have been installed within the city for the purpose of determining whether said systems are being used in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.

(2) The inspector, or his designee, shall request the owner or lessee of the premises on which the alarm system is installed, or any other person who may lawfully give his consent, to admit the inspector, or his designee, onto the premises for the purpose of making an inspection of the alarm system. Upon denial of such request, the city building inspector, or his designee, may obtain a warrant from the city of Puyallup municipal court judge ordering the owner, lessee, or person in possession of the premises on which the alarm system is installed to admit the inspector, or his designee, to make an inspection of the alarm system upon a showing to the judge that reasonable grounds exist for the inspection of the alarm system.

(3) Factors that may establish reasonable grounds under this chapter include, but are not limited to:

(a) Complaints received from persons that an alarm system is emitting false alarms;

(b) Police department personnel responded to an alarm signal where there was no evidence, other than the alarm signal, that an alarm condition actually existed;

(c) Any warrant issued for an alarm system inspection shall identify the premises where the alarm system to be inspected is located and shall specify the reasons for which such inspection is made;

(d) It shall be grounds for revocation, suspension or denial of a permit for any person to refuse to admit to property on which an alarm system is located any person who has the lawful right to enter onto such property and make an inspection of the system.

(4) If the inspection reveals that the alarm is not safe and reliable or it is in violation of the electrical code, the Puyallup police department shall be informed and written notice to take corrective action shall be served on the user and the alarm business in the form and have the effect provided for in this chapter. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.130 Instruction as to the operation of the system – User responsible for maintenance – Service contracts.

(1)(a) Alarm businesses licensed under this chapter shall instruct the user orally and through written instructions on the proper operation of the system after it is installed. It shall be the responsibility of the user to see that all employees and persons regularly using the premises on which the alarm is installed are instructed in proper operating procedures to avoid false alarm signals.

(b) No alarm business licensed under this chapter shall sell or refer to any alarm installed as a “panic alarm” or indicate that it can be used to summon the police for any reason. Any button installed in a burglar alarm system and intended to be depressed manually for the purpose of summoning the police shall be referred to as a “silent by-pass alarm” and instructions shall be given that it is not to be used unless there is an actual or attempted break-in or robbery, or unless a physical assault of the person appears imminent.

(2) It shall be the responsibility of the user of an alarm system to cause the system to be maintained in reliable operating condition.

(3) All licensed alarm businesses shall offer a service and maintenance contract to users owning or leasing the property on which such alarm business has installed an alarm system to insure emergency services and preventive maintenance are performed on the system. Such emergency services shall be available on a 24-hour a day, seven-day a week basis. Such preventive maintenance shall insure that the backup power used in the system does not fail and cause an alarm to go off because of weak batteries, and/or temporary power failures from the primary voltage source. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.140 Persons responding to activated alarms.

(1) The Puyallup police department shall keep a record of the two persons who are designated in the permit application as provided in this chapter, and who can render service to the system when needed. Upon notification of an activated alarm, at least one such person designated by the user who may by agreement be an employee of the licensed alarm business maintaining and/or servicing the system, shall proceed immediately to the location of the activated alarm and render all necessary service and assistance to restore the alarm to normal condition or to reset the alarm. Responding personnel shall arrive on the scene within a reasonable time not to exceed 30 minutes after receiving notice of the alarm.

(2) All silent or bypass alarms maintained by any licensed alarm business shall terminate in an office of such business. The alarm business, having reason to believe there is a valid alarm, will immediately notify the police department and dispatch his employee or employees to the alarm location. For the purpose of notifying the police department, the maximum equipment allowed shall be a direct line to the police department switchboard. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.150 Notifying police of alarms – Records.

(1) When anyone notifies the police department or any employee thereof of an alarm from an alarm business, he or she shall state its business name and furnish the address of the activated alarm, the name and type of establishment from which the alarm is originated, the precise location of the alarm (if there is more than one floor or department), and the type of alarm, such as silent robbery, silent burglary, or ringer-type alarm.

(2) Alarm businesses that request police response to an alarm signal shall maintain a record of all police calls stating the time, date, and location of the alarm. The records shall indicate the cause of the alarm and if the alarm is not caused by an attempted burglary or robbery, shall state corrective action taken to prevent the recurrence of the false alarm. This record shall be current and shall be made available for inspection by the Puyallup city clerk and the Puyallup police department at any time during normal business hours.

(3) The Puyallup police department shall maintain a record of all police calls made in response to an activated alarm including the time, date and location of the alarm. These records shall also indicate whether or not an alarm condition existed. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.160 Local or audible alarm system cutoff.

Every alarm system which uses a local or audible alarm device to attract the attention of the public shall be equipped with an automatic 30-minute cutoff device or shall be silenced manually by the user or his representative within 30 minutes after activation. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.170 Operational defects to be remedied.

The sensory mechanisms used in connection with alarm systems shall be adjusted to suppress false alarms so that the device will not be activated by impulses due to transient pressure changes in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind noises such as the rattling or vibrating of doors or windows, vehicular noises adjacent to the installation, or other forces unrelated to genuine alarms. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.190 Renewal of alarm user’s permit.

Every alarm user’s permit is subject to renewal every three years, at which time a renewal fee of $15.00 is due. The city clerk shall not approve the renewal of the user’s permit unless the applicant meets all of the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.200 Records of number of accounts.

Every alarm business in the city of Puyallup, or its environs, shall quarterly, during the first weeks of January, April, July and October, submit a written statement as to the total number of business accounts held by such company, including separate figures showing the total number of residential and commercial customers, to the Puyallup police department. This shall not include the name, address, or account number of any customer. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.210 Automatic dialing and prerecorded telephone messages prohibited.

No person shall use or operate, attempt to use or operate, or cause to be used or operated, or arrange, adjust, program or otherwise operate any device or combination of devices that will, upon activation, either mechanically, electronically or by other automatic means, automatically dial or initiate an intracity or intercity telephone call and deliver a prerecorded message to any telephone number assigned to any public safety department or service in the city of Puyallup. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.220 Maintenance of alarms – Requirements – Notification.

It is unlawful to have or maintain on any premises an audible-type burglary and/or robbery alarm unless there is on file with the Puyallup police department a notice of the telephone numbers at which the person or persons authorized to enter such premises and turn off such alarm can be reached at all times, and it is unlawful for any person to wilfully and intentionally fail to appear and turn off any such alarm within one hour after being notified by the police to do so. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).

9.01.230 Improper activation of alarm.

It is unlawful for anyone to activate any robbery or burglary alarm for the purpose of summoning police, except in the event of an actual or attempted burglary or robbery, or for anyone notifying the police of an 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. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1990 § 1, 1983).

9.01.240 False alarms.

(1) Definition. For the purposes of this section, the term “false alarm” means the activation of a burglary and/or robbery alarm by other than a forced entry or attempted forced entry to the premises and at a time when no burglary or robbery is being committed or attempted on the premises.

(2) Charges. In all occupancies, including existing occupancies required to have an alarm system by this chapter, charges will be made for false alarms in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the city council and filed with the city clerk. (Ord. 2255 § 1, 1991; Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1990 § 1, 1983).

9.01.250 Fees.

In all occupancies, including existing occupancies required to have an alarm system by this chapter, charges will be made for false alarms in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the city council and filed with the city clerk. (Ord. 2255 § 2, 1991; Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1990 § 1, 1983).

9.01.260 Penalty for violations.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or failing to comply with the requirements of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00. (Ord. 2105 § 2, 1986; Ord. 1990 § 1, 1983; Ord. 1852 § 1, 1981).