Location:
MUNICIPALITIES; POLICE

OLR Research Report


April 22, 2010

 

2010-R-0180

FALSE ALARM ORDINANCES

By: Emilee Mooney Scott, Legislative Fellow

You asked about municipal ordinances that penalize alarm system subscribers for false alarms. Specifically, you wanted to know (1) how many towns have such ordinances and (2) which of these towns are served by resident state troopers.

SUMMARY

Of the 143 municipalities on which we have information, 86 have false alarm ordinances and 16 of those have a resident state trooper. False alarm ordinances penalize alarm system subscribers for false alarms, generally by assessing a fee of $25 to $100 per false alarm. The vast majority of municipalities with false alarm ordinances decline to penalize the first few false alarms per system in a calendar year, and many decline to penalize false alarms that occur within the first 30 days after the system is installed. We will update this report as we obtain information from additional municipalities.

FALSE ALARM ORDINANCES

Rocky Hill has a fairly representative ordinance penalizing alarm system owners for false alarms. It provides as follows:

B. The Town of Rocky Hill shall set the following standards for alarm performance.

1. A maximum of two false alarms from any one protected property per calendar year shall be acceptable.

2. After the second false alarm, the subscriber shall be notified in writing. Such notification shall require the alarm system to be inspected by the installing alarm company and the subscriber shall review alarm procedures with all employees. Also, written notification shall be made to the Police Chief or Fire Chief, as appropriate, indicating that the alarm problem has been corrected.

3. In any one calendar year, upon receipt of the third false fire alarm from any one protected property of a subscriber, the Town of Rocky Hill shall charge a penalty of $50 for said third false alarm and for each subsequent offense, the Town of Rocky Hill shall charge a penalty of $75.

C. If the subscriber and/or alarm equipment supplier(s) fails to comply with any requirement of this article, the Chief of Police may terminate, in writing, the privilege of having equipment and indicators in the communications center in the Rocky Hill Police Department and may require removal of the same within three days from the receipt of said written notice, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday and holidays, at the expense of such subscriber and/or alarm equipment supplier(s). Failure to remove said equipment and indicators, as specified above, shall result in the Town's doing so at the expense of the person(s) so notified.

(Town of Rocky Hill Ordinances, 73-14).

The vast majority of municipalities with false alarm ordinances decline to penalize the first few false alarms per system in a calendar year. In addition, many towns with false alarm ordinances decline to penalize false alarms that occur within the first 30 days after the system is installed. Some ordinances provide for fees that increase as the number of false alarms increases (e.g., Rocky Hill, Glastonbury, and Wilton). Others assess the same fee for each false alarm above the allowed number (e.g., Torrington and North Branford). Some ordinances allow the police or fire department to terminate an alarm system subscriber's privilege of having police and fire personnel respond to alarms (e.g., Rocky Hill and Hartford).

MUNICIPALITIES WITH FALSE ALARM ORDINANCES

Table 1 below lists the state's municipalities and (1) whether the municipality has a false alarm ordinance; (2) the a citation for the false alarm ordinance, if available, and; (3) whether the municipality is served by resident state troopers. Of the state's 169 municipalities, we have been able to obtain information from 143. The remaining municipalities are listed below as “unknown” and we will update this report as we obtain further information.

Of the 143 municipalities on which we have information, 86 have false alarm ordinances. This includes rural towns like East Granby and Bridgewater and cities like Hartford and New Haven. Of these 86 Connecticut municipalities with false alarm ordinances, 16 of them are served by resident state troopers.

Table 1: Municipalities

Municipality

False Alarm Ordinance

Citation to Municipal Code of Ordinances

Resident State Trooper

Andover

No

 

Yes

Ansonia

No

 

No

Ashford

No

 

No

Avon

No

 

No

Barkhamsted

No

 

Yes

Beacon Falls

Yes

Alarm System Ordinance

Yes

Berlin

Yes

18-40 

No

Bethany

Yes

102-4, 102-5

Yes

Bethel

Yes

35-6, 35-18

No

Bethlehem

Yes

 

Yes

Bloomfield

Unknown

 

No

Bolton

No

 

Yes

Bozrah

Unknown

 

No

Branford

Yes

114-9

No

Bridgeport

Yes

8.12.030

No

Bridgewater

Yes

Ordinance Regulating Fire Alarm Systems

Yes

Bristol

Yes

2.5-6.

No

Brookfield

No

 

No

Table 1: -Continued-

Municipality

False Alarm Ordinance

Citation to Municipal Code of Ordinances

Resident State Trooper

Brooklyn

Unknown

 

Yes

Burlington

No

 

Yes

Canaan

Unknown

 

No

Canterbury

No

 

No

Canton

Yes

Ordinance #217

No

Chaplin

Unknown

 

Yes

Cheshire

Yes

10-21

No

Chester

No

 

Yes

Clinton

Yes

190-6

No

Colchester

Unknown

 

Yes

Colebrook

No

 

No

Columbia

No

 

Yes

Cornwall

Yes

Ordinance Regulating Fire Alarm Systems

No

Coventry

No

 

No

Cromwell

Yes

73-9

No

Danbury

Yes

3a-29

No

Darien

Yes

5-7, 5-8

No

Deep River

No

 

Yes

Derby

No

 

No

Durham

Yes

8-1

Yes

East Granby

Yes

Ch. XII, Art. 5

Yes

East Haddam 

No

 

Yes

East Hampton

No

 

No

East Hartford

Yes

13-23,

No

East Haven

Yes

12-41

No

East Lyme

Yes

Alarm Systems Ordinance

Yes

East Windsor

Yes

Ordinance Regulating Alarm Systems

No

Eastford

Yes

 

No

Easton

No

 

No

Ellington

No

 

Yes

Enfield

Yes

34-33

No

Essex

Unknown

 

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Municipality

False Alarm Ordinance

Citation to Municipal Code of Ordinances

Resident State Trooper

Fairfield

Yes

45-7

No

Farmington

Yes

75-5

No

Franklin

No

 

No

Glastonbury

Yes

13-37

No

Goshen

No

 

No

Granby

No

 

No

Greenwich

Unknown

 

No

Griswold

No

 

Yes

Groton

No

 

No

Guilford

No

 

No

Haddam

Unknown

 

Yes

Hamden

Yes

100.99

No

Hampton 

No

 

No

Hartford

Yes

25-14

No

Hartland

Unknown

 

No

Harwinton

Yes

Ordinance Regulating Burglar, Holdup & Automatic Telephone Dialer Alarms

Yes

Hebron

No

 

Yes

Kent

Unknown

 

No

Killingly

No

 

Yes

Killingworth

Yes

210-4, 210-7

Yes

Lebanon 

No

 

Yes

Ledyard

Unknown

 

Yes

Lisbon 

Unknown

 

Yes

Litchfield

Yes

6-51

Yes

Lyme

Yes

90-5, 94-1A

No

Madison

No

 

No

Manchester

Yes

103-6

No

Mansfield

No

 

Yes

Marlborough

No

 

Yes

Meriden

Yes

60-5

No

Middlebury

Unknown

 

No

Middlefield

No

 

Yes

Middletown

Yes

98-9

No

Table 1: -Continued-

Municipality

False Alarm Ordinance

Citation to Municipal Code of Ordinances

Resident State Trooper

Milford

Yes

2-5-10

No

Monroe

No

 

No

Montville

Yes

160-7

Yes

Morris

Yes

Ordinance Regulating Fire and Medical Automatic Alarms

No

Naugatuck

Yes

 

No

Newington

Yes

136-13

No

Newtown

Yes

203-7

No

New Britain

Yes

16-31

No

New Canaan

Yes

4A-12

No

New Fairfield

Unknown

 

Yes

New Hartford

No

 

Yes

New Haven

Yes

4-17

No

New London

Yes

14-17

No

New Milford

Yes

2A-29

No

Norfolk

Yes

Chapter 87, Fire Alarms

Yes

North Branford

Yes

108-10

No

North Canaan

No

 

Yes

North Haven

Yes

77-4

No

North Stonington

No

 

Yes

Norwalk

Yes

11A-22

No

Norwich

Yes

8-21

No

Old Lyme

Yes

6-8, 6-10

Yes

Old Saybrook

Yes

75-6

No

Orange

Yes

168-6, 168-7

No

Oxford

Yes

Burglar, Fire, Holdup & Automatic Telephone Alarms

Yes

Plainfield

No

 

No

Plainville

Yes

Alarm Ordinance

No

Plymouth

Yes

5.8-12, 5.8-13, 5.8-14

No

Pomfret

No

 

No

Portland

Yes

 

No

Preston

No

 

Yes

Prospect 

Yes

Alarm Systems Ordinance

Yes

Table 1: -Continued-

Municipality

False Alarm Ordinance

Citation to Municipal Code of Ordinances

Resident State Trooper

Putnam

Unknown

 

No

Redding

Yes

160-5

No

Ridgefield

Unknown

 

No

Rocky Hill

Yes

73-14

No

Roxbury

Unknown

 

Yes

Salem

No

 

Yes

Salisbury

Unknown

 

Yes

Scotland 

Unknown

 

No

Seymour

Yes

11-21

No

Sharon

Unknown

 

No

Shelton

Yes

9-102

No

Sherman

No

 

Yes

Simsbury

Yes

61-7

No

Somers

No

 

Yes

South Windsor

Yes

38-35

No

Southbury

Unknown

 

Yes

Southington

Yes

16-24, 16-28

No

Sprague

No

 

Yes

Stafford

No

 

Yes

Stamford

Yes

70-5

No

Sterling

Unknown

 

Yes

Stonington

Yes

Alarm Ordinance

No

Stratford

Yes

46-3

No

Suffield

No

 

No

Thomaston

Unknown

 

No

Thompson

No

 

No

Tolland

No

 

Yes

Torrington

Yes

73-9

No

Trumbull

No

 

No

Union

No

 

No

Vernon

Yes

8-60

No

Voluntown

No

 

No

Wallingford

Yes

59-4, 59-5

No

Table 1: -Continued-

Municipality

False Alarm Ordinance

Citation to Municipal Code of Ordinances

Resident State Trooper

Warren

No

 

No

Washington

No

 

Yes

Waterbury

Yes

91.99(b)

No

Waterford

Yes

8.28.040, 8.28.045

No

Watertown

Yes

10-34.

No

West Hartford

Yes

44-10

No

West Haven

Unknown

 

No

Westbrook

No

 

Yes

Weston

Unknown

 

No

Westport

Yes

26-30.

No

Wethersfield

Yes

50-6

No

Willington

No

 

No

Wilton

Yes

7-8

No

Winchester

Yes

151, 154

No

Windham

Yes

13-188, 189

No

Windsor

Yes

12-22

No

Windsor Locks

No

 

No

Wolcott

Yes

Alarm Ordinance

No

Woodbridge

Yes

Ch. 5, Art. V, 4

No

Woodbury

Yes

Ch. 2.5

Yes

Woodstock

No

 

No

Total unknown

26

Total without false alarm ordinance

57

Total with false alarm ordinance

86

Total with false alarm ordinance and RST

16

(Source: Ordinances available online or obtained directly from town clerks. Information about Resident State Troopers obtained from the Department of State Police.)

ES:ts