Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 239

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 2035

 

*02035_______PS_*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

 

Introduced by:

 

(PS)

 

AN ACT REQUIRING VERIFICATION TO REDUCE FALSE ALARMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 29-6c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2016):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Alarm system" means an assembly of equipment and devices arranged to signal the presence of a hazard such as unauthorized intrusion into a premises, an attempted robbery or a fire or smoke condition at a premises requiring urgent attention, [and to which the Division of State Police is expected to respond,] including, but not limited to: Automatic holdup alarm systems, burglary alarm systems, holdup alarm systems, manual holdup alarm systems, audible alarm systems and fire alarm systems. "Alarm system" does not mean a system that monitors temperature or is designed solely for notification of medical emergencies.

(2) "Alarm monitoring company" means any person, firm, company, partnership or corporation engaged in the business of monitoring alarm systems.

(3) "Alarm verification" means an attempt by an alarm monitoring company to verify whether the activation of an alarm system was caused by a false alarm by contacting an individual at the premises where the alarm system is installed by telephone or other electronic means when the alarm system is activated and, if such attempt to contact the individual fails, by contacting the subscriber by telephone or other electronic means.

[(2)] (3) "False alarm" means the activation of any alarm system including circumstances occurring off the protected property and within the control of either the subscriber, [his] the alarm business, [or his] the answering service or the alarm monitoring company to which the Division of State Police or municipal police responds but does not include any such activation caused by fire, a criminal act, emergency, or an act of nature such as an earthquake, tornado, hurricane or storm.

(4) "Monitoring" means the process by which an alarm monitoring company receives electrical or electronic signals from an alarm system.

[(3)] (5) "Subscriber" means an individual who buys, leases or otherwise acquires an alarm system and thereafter installs it or has it installed, including an individual who has control of the premises in which an operable alarm system exists.

(b) (1) The subscriber of an alarm system shall be fined for each [emergency police] response by the Division of State Police to a false alarm, except that such fine shall be [automatically] waived for the first three false alarm responses in a calendar year. [State] The subscriber of an alarm system installed on state, federal and municipal buildings or properties shall be exempt from such fine. The subscriber of an alarm system shall be fined for each [emergency police] response by the Division of State Police to a false alarm in a calendar year not more than: [(1)] (A) Twenty-five dollars for a fourth [offense, (2)] response, (B) fifty dollars for a fifth [offense, (3)] response, (C) seventy-five dollars for a sixth [offense] response, and [(4)] (D) one hundred dollars for the seventh and each subsequent [offense] response within a calendar year. Such fine shall be used for the administrative costs of administering this section, and for training and educational materials of the state police. If the subscriber is not the owner of the property in which the alarm system is located, the state police [trooper] shall give the property owner notice of the occurrence of the second alarm generated by the alarm system of the property.

[(c)] (2) Any subscriber who has received notification from the state police informing such subscriber that a fine is being imposed for a false alarm may appeal the fine not later than seven days after the receipt of notification by filing an appeal with the Division of State Police. The Division of State Police shall review the appeal and make a determination as to whether or not the circumstances surrounding the false alarms justify a waiver of the fine. The Division of State Police shall notify the subscriber, in writing, of its final decision.

[(d)] (3) All fines imposed pursuant to this [section] subsection shall be payable to the Division of State Police and shall be due not later than thirty days after the date of notification [,] or, in the case of an appeal, not later than thirty days after the date of the decision on the appeal. A subscriber who fails to pay the fine within the designated time period shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars.

(4) The subscriber of an alarm system may be fined by a municipality for any response by the police of such municipality to a false alarm under any ordinance adopted pursuant to subparagraph (H) (xiv) of subdivision (7) of subsection (c) of section 7-148.

(c) The subscriber of an alarm system shall provide the following to the alarm monitoring company: (1) Contact information for an individual at the premises where the alarm system is installed, and (2) contact information for the subscriber.

(d) (1) After any activation of an alarm system but prior to requesting the Division of State Police or municipal police department to respond, an alarm monitoring company shall employ alarm verification.

(2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply if the alarm monitoring company has a monitoring system that enables such company to verify by visual or auditory means that the activation of the alarm system was not caused by a false alarm.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2016

29-6c

Statement of Purpose:

To require that alarm monitoring companies attempt to verify the validity of an alarm before requesting state or municipal police to respond to the alarm.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]