CHAPTER 701
Alarm Systems
 
701.01     Purpose and definitions.
701.02     Application for alarm business license.
701.03     Action on alarm business license application.
701.04     Revocation of alarm business licenses.
701.05     Application for alarm agent license; identification card.
701.06     Action on alarm agent license applications.
701.07     Revocation of alarm agent licenses.
701.08     Identification cards; form and return.
701.09     Administrative rules.
701.10     Alarm business and agent license terms.
701.11     License fees and payment procedures.
701.12     License renewal notice.
701.13     Emergency alarms.
701.14     Liability of City.
701.99     Penalty.
 
CROSS REFERENCES
Making false alarms - see GEN. OFF. 509.07
 
 
701.01  PURPOSE AND DEFINITIONS.

     (a)     Purpose.  The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards and regulations applicable to the licensing of fire, burglar and hold up  alarm businesses, alarm agents, and alarm users as defined in this section.

 

     (b)       Definitions.  For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein.  When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words used in the plural number include the singular number; and words in the singular number include the plural number.  The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.

          (1)     "Alarm agent" means any person employed by or acting on behalf of an alarm business whose duties include the altering, installing, maintaining, moving, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing, responding to or causing others to respond to an alarm device.

          (2)     "Alarm business" means any business operated by a person for a profit which engages in the activity of altering, installing, leasing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, selling, servicing or responding to a fire, burglar or holdup alarm system, or which causes any of these activities to take place.

          (3)     "Alarm system" means an assembly of equipment and devices, or a single device such as a solid state unit which plugs directly into a 110 volt AC  line, arranged to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to which police or firemen are expected to respond.  The term "alarm system" includes the following:

               A.     "Automatic holdup alarm system" means an alarm system in which a signal transmission is initiated by the action of a robber.

               B.     "Burglar alarm system" means an alarm system signaling an entry or attempted entry into the area protected by the system.

               C.     "Holdup alarm system" means an alarm system signaling a robbery or attempted robbery.

               D.     "Manual holdup alarm system" means an alarm system in which the signal transmission is initiated by the direct action of the person    attacked or by an observer of the attack.

               E.     “Fire alarm system" means an alarm system which monitors  temperature, humidity or any other condition of a fire hazard nature, and not directly related to the detection of an unauthorized intrusion into a premises or an attempted robbery at a premise.

          (4)     "Police Chief" means the duly appointed Chief of the Rocky River Police Division or his authorized representative and, for the purposes of this chapter, shall be construed to include the Chief of the Rocky River Fire Division or his authorized representative in regard to duties as set forth in Section 701.13(f)(8).

               (Ord. 120-76.   Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.02  APPLICATION FOR ALARM BUSINESS LICENSE.

     (a)       Any person engaging in an alarm business in the City shall, within thirty (30) days after the effective date of this Section, apply to the Chief of Police for a license to operate such business on a form for such license to be furnished by the Chief of Police.  Such application shall be signed by the individual proprietor of such business, or by a partner, or by the proper corporate official, as is appropriate for the form of the business seeking the license.

 

     (b)     The following shall be included in such license application:

          (1)     The name, address and telephone number of the alarm business, and the type of business organization (individual, partnership or corporation).  Also the name, address, social security number and telephone number of the owner and of each partner (general, limited, silent, etc.), of the directors, principal officers and stockholders holding more than twenty percent (20%) of the corporation authorized and issued stock, and the State where incorporated, as is appropriate for the form of the business seeking the license.

          (2)       Certification that within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this Section or upon receipt of notice of approval of a license application, whichever date occurs later, the alarm business shall  maintain a description of the alarm system and devices offered for sale or lease to the public and a description of any services related to alarm devices offered to the public.

          (3)     Certification that within ninety (90) days after the effective date of this Section or upon receipt of notice of approval of a license application, whichever date occurs later, a complete list of the names  and addresses of all persons in the City to whom or for whom alarm systems have been sold and/or installed and who are currently under contract to the alarm business for services on or after the effective date of this Section shall be maintained for inspection by the Chief of Police during the course of his official business.

          (4)     A complete list of any criminal convictions, except for traffic offenses, of the applicant of each partner, officer, local office manager, and/or employee acting in capacity of an alarm agent.

          (5)     A statement that the applicant shall inform the Police Division within ten (10) days after any substantial change in the information required by subsection (b)(1) hereof.

 

     (c)     Applicants already doing business in the City on the effective date of this Section may continue to do business while their license applications are being processed.  An applicant not previously doing business in the City on the effective date of this section shall not commence doing business until his application is approved. (Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.03  ACTION ON ALARM BUSINESS LICENSE APPLICATIONS.

     (a)     The Chief of Police shall cause a report on the application to be prepared based on the information contained in the application together with such other relevant information as may be obtained pertaining to the applicant and his business.

 

     (b)     On the basis of such report, the Chief of Police shall within sixty (60) days after the receipt of an application for an alarm business license either approve or deny the issuance of a license.  Upon making a decision, he shall:

          (1)       In the case of approval, issue the license to operate to the applicant.

          (2)     In the case of denial, notify the applicant, in writing, of the denial and of the basis for the denial, which may only be nonconformance with any part of this Chapter.  If the basis for the denial can be corrected, the writing shall so state and shall explain how these corrections may be made and  shall inform the applicant that he may appeal the denial and set forth the procedure for appeal.  The procedure for appeal shall be as follows:

               A.     Within ten (10) days after mailing of the notice of denial, the applicant shall file a notice of appeal with the Safety-Service Director stating the basis of the appeal.

               B.     Within ten (10) days after receipt of notice of appeal, the Director or his  designated representative, shall arrange for a conference with the applicant and the Chief of Police to attempt to reach an agreement concerning the appeal.  The Director shall render the final decision on the appeal.

                    (Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.04  REVOCATION OF ALARM BUSINESS LICENSES.

     (a)       In addition to any penalties which may be imposed for the violation of certain provisions of this chapter, the City may, pursuant to the provisions of this section, revoke the license of an alarm business upon any of the following grounds:

          (1)       Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation of application for a license.

          (2)       Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation or false statement made in the conduct of an alarm business.

          (3)       Failure to correct any deficiencies in equipment or operation within ten  (10) days after receipt of notice of same from the Chief of Police or within  a reasonable time if such deficiencies cannot be corrected within the ten  (10) days.

          (4)     Failure to pay any fees as required by this Chapter.

          (5)       Failure to comply within a reasonable time with any order or notice issued  by the Chief of Police after the licensee's rights to hearing and appeal have  been exhausted or failure after reasonable notice to permit the Chief of  Police to inspect any lists which he is authorized to inspect under this Chapter, or failure to comply with the standards imposed by this Chapter within a reasonable time, not less than thirty (30) days after notice or order from the Chief of Police.

 

     (b)     No alarm business license shall be revoked until a hearing is held by the  Chief of Police.  Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served the holder of the license at least three (3) days before the date set for the hearing.  Such notice shall set forth a summary of the grounds advanced as the basis for the revocation of the license.

 

     (c)     At the hearing before the Chief of Police, the licensee or his authorized representative, shall be given an opportunity to confront and examine any adverse witness, and to present evidence on his own behalf.  After such hearing, the Chief of Police shall either dismiss the complaint or shall forward the complaint to the Safety-Service Director with his recommendation that the license be revoked.  Within ten (10) days after receiving such recommendation, the Director shall approve or disapprove the recommendation.  In either event, the Director shall cause the holder of the license to be given notice in writing of his decision within ten (10) days after making it.

 

     (d)     Within ten (10) days after an alarm business receives notice of revocation of its license, or after it has exhausted all appeals with respect to such revocation, it shall notify by written notice mailed certified return receipt requested, all persons for whom it is required to maintain a list pursuant to Section 701.02(b)(3) of such revocation, and the notice shall advise such persons that the alarm business must cease providing service for or selling alarm systems to such persons immediately upon receiving notice of revocation.  When such required notice has been completed, the alarm business shall submit a sworn certificate to the Chief of Police that it has met the notice requirements of this subsection.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.05  APPLICATION FOR ALARM AGENT LICENSE;  IDENTIFICATION CARD.

     (a)       Every alarm agent employed by an alarm business within this City shall be required to obtain a license in the form of an identification card from the Chief of Police.  The owners, managers, corporate officers and partners of all alarm businesses are also required to obtain licenses from the Chief of Police if they directly engage in selling, installing, servicing, maintaining or responding to alarm systems within the City.  Any person who is not an alarm agent, who, as an employee of a licensed alarm business has access to confidential information of an alarm user, shall also obtain a license.  Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this section, alarm agents and, if required by this subsection, owners, managers, corporate officers and partners shall submit applications to the Chief of Police for licenses.  The application for the license shall be in a form prescribed by the Chief of Police and shall include the following:

          (1)     The applicant's full name and any other names previously used, residence and business addresses for the past five (5) years, telephone numbers and  social security number.

          (2)      The applicant's date and place of birth.

          (3)     A list of all felony and misdemeanor convictions of the applicant.

          (4)     Two (2) classifiable sets of fingerprints.

          (5)     One (1) recent photograph of the applicant of a type prescribed by the  Chief of Police.

          (6)     The name and address of the alarm business where the applicant is or will be employed.

          (7)     The applicant's employment record for the prior ten (10) years.

          (8)     A statement that the applicant shall inform the Chief of Police of any change in the above information or the termination of the applicant's employment by the alarm business within ten (10) days of such change.

          (9)     Any other information which the Chief of Police may deem necessary to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements of this Chapter.

 

     (b)     Every new alarm agent shall submit an application to the Chief of Police for a license under this section within fourteen (14) days of the commencement of employment with an alarm business.

 

     (c)     The identification card required by this section shall be carried by a person required to obtain a license whenever such person is engaged in the business of the licensee in the City and shall be exhibited at the demand of any lawful authority, customer or prospective customer of such licensee.

 

     (d)      An alarm agent shall not be required to obtain a license if he already has obtained a license from another city within Cuyahoga County, Ohio, or the County itself, if such city or county requests its alarm agents to meet the same minimum qualifications of this Section and requires an alarm agent to obtain a license in the same general form as required by Section 701.02 provided, however, that such city or county shall recognize and accept identification cards of alarm agents who hold valid identification cards issued by this City.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.06  ACTION ON ALARM AGENT LICENSE APPLICATIONS.

     (a)     The Chief of Police shall cause a report on the alarm agent applicant to be prepared based on the information contained in the application together with such other relevant information as may be obtained pertaining to the applicant.  No license shall be issued if:

          (1)       The applicant has been convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

          (2)       The application contains any false statements made willfully and  knowingly.

          (3)     The applicant is not employed as an alarm agent or is not to be employed as an alarm agent by an alarm business if he is issued a license.

 

     (b)     If an application is approved, the Chief of Police shall cause a license to be issued to the applicant.

 

     (c)     If an application is denied, the Chief of Police shall notify the applicant, in writing, of the denial and of the basis for the denial.  The notice of denial shall inform the applicant that he may appeal the denial and set forth the procedure for appeal which shall be as follows:

          (1)     The applicant shall have ten (10) days after receipt of the notice of denial to file a notice of appeal with the Safety-Service Director, or his   designated representative, stating the basis for appeal.

          (2)     Within ten (10) days after receipt of the notice of appeal, the Director, or his designated representative, shall either reverse the Chief of Police's ruling and order a license to be issued, or uphold the decision of the Chief of Police and cause the applicant to be notified.  The ruling of the Director or his designated representative shall be final.

               (Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.07  REVOCATION OF ALARM AGENT LICENSES.

     (a)       In addition to any penalties which may be imposed for the violation of provisions of this Chapter, the City may, pursuant to the provisions of this section, revoke the license of an alarm agent on any of the following grounds:

          (1)     Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation or false statement made in an application for a license under Section 701.05.

          (2)     Fraud or willful and knowing misrepresentation or false statement made while employed as an alarm agent.

          (3)     Conviction of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

 

     (b)     No license shall be revoked until a hearing is held by the Chief of Police.  Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served on the holder of a license at least ten (10) days before the date set for the hearing.  The notice shall set forth a summary of the grounds advanced as the basis for the revocation of the license.

 

     (c)     At the hearing before the Chief of Police, the licensee shall be given an opportunity to confront and examine any adverse witness, and to present evidence in his own behalf.  After the hearing, the Chief of Police shall either dismiss the complaint, or shall forward the complaint to the Safety-Service Director with his recommendation that the license be revoked.  Within ten (10) days after receiving such recommendation, the Director shall approve or disapprove the recommendation.  In either event, the Director shall cause the holder of a license to be given notice in writing of his decision within ten (10) days after making such decision.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.08  IDENTIFICATION CARDS; FORM AND RETURN.

     (a)     An identification card issued by the Chief of Police shall contain a recent photograph of the applicant, the date of issue, the expiration date, the applicant's signature and such other information as the Chief of Police may in his discretion require.  All identification cards shall be consecutively numbered.

 

     (b)     It shall be a violation of this Chapter for an alarm agent license holder or his alarm business to willfully fail to return any identification card issued under this Chapter to the Chief of Police.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.09  ADMINISTRATIVE RULES.

     (a)     The Chief of Police shall promulgate such rules as may be necessary for the implementation of this Chapter and for determination of grounds for suspension or revocation of any license or permit required by this Chapter.  Such rules shall be subject to approval by the Safety-Service Director and shall be open for inspection by the public.

 

     (b)     Any action taken or decision made by the Chief of Police under this Chapter toward an alarm business or alarm agent shall first meet the approval of the Fire Chief if such alarm business or alarm agent is engaged to any degree whatsoever with fire alarm systems as part of the operation of such business or agent.

 

     (c)     The Fire Chief shall be responsible for the inspection of all fire alarm systems and supervision of the activities of alarm businesses and alarm agents in regard to fire alarm systems under this Chapter.  He shall report any violation to the Chief of Police who shall take action as set forth in this Chapter.  The Fire Chief or his authorized representative shall appear at any hearing that stems from such report of violation under this Chapter.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

        

701.10  ALARM BUSINESS AND AGENT LICENSE TERMS.

     Each alarm business license issued under this Chapter shall be effective for a period of one (1) year from the date of issuance.  Each alarm agent license shall expire on December 31.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.11  LICENSE FEES AND PAYMENT PROCEDURES.

     (a)     License fees to cover administrative and inspection costs under this Chapter shall be as set forth in Section 1321.06 of the Codified Ordinances.

 

     (b)     All fees shall accompany the application, be made payable to the City and shall not be refundable.  License fees as set forth herein, shall be prorated for those portions of a year less than a full year term. 

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.12  LICENSE RENEWAL NOTICE.

     The Chief of Police shall issue notice of alarm business licenses renewals thirty (30) days prior to expiration of such license.  Such notice shall be sent only to each alarm business covered by this Chapter.  It is the duty of such alarm businesses at least thirty (30) days prior to expiration to notify its agents in regard to renewal of their alarm agent licenses. 

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.13  EMERGENCY ALARMS.

     (a)     Authority to Install Alarm.  Any residence or lawful business located within the City may be equipped with an emergency alarm for the purpose of detecting and signalling the presence of a fire or unauthorized intrusion upon compliance with this section.  Existing installations shall be subject to the requirements of this section.

 

     (b)     Alarms Connected Directly to Police Station or Fire Station.

          (1)     Upon proper application by any person to connect installed equipment with the Rocky River police station or fire station to receive emergency alarms, the Safety-Service Director or his authorized representatives may issue a permit or permits for such connection.

          (2)     Connection to the police alarm panel or fire alarm panel, as provided for in this Section shall be contingent upon an applicant having obtained permission from the company which maintains the alarm panel in the police station or fire station to make such connection.  Permission shall not be denied provided equipment is compatible, and provided charges are paid to such company, and provided such installation is inspected and approved by the Chief of Police or the Chief of Fire or their authorized representatives.

          (3)     The City shall, within its capabilities, endeavor to accommodate every reasonable application for connection to the police or fire alarm panels, as provided for in this Section.

 

     (c)     Alarms Connected to a Central Answering Service or Alarm Company.  A permit shall be required for the installation of an alarm connected to or which transmits a signal to a central answering service, company or facility which in turn notifies the Police or Fire Divisions of such signal or alarm.  This permit must be obtained by the property owner, property lessee or property tenant, in addition to any such permits obtained by the alarm company, answering service or its agency.   (Ord. 5-82.  Passed 2-8-82.)

 

     (d)     Local Alarms.  A permit for the installation of a local alarm which, when activated, sounds a horn, bell, buzzer or other type of audible alarm, shall be required if the sound created by the alarm is audible beyond the premises being served.  The Safety-Service Director or his authorized representative shall issue a permit for such an alarm, provided the intensity of the sound does not exceed sixty-five (65) decibels at any location outside the premises being served. (Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 

     (e)     False Alarms.

          (1)     A.     A charge as set forth in Section 1321.05 of the Codified Ordinances shall be assessed for each false alarm received through equipment described above, or for each false alarm received through any other alarm service which the City has given permission to be installed.  Such fee shall be assessed against the holder of the permit for the alarm with which the false alarm is associated.

               B.     A charge as set forth in Section 1321.05 of the Codified Ordinances shall be assessed for each false alarm received by the telephone from a central station or alarm company answering service.  Such fee shall be assessed against the alarm company with which the false alarm is associated.

          (2)     Notwithstanding the fee to be assessed as set forth above, there shall be no charge for a false alarm to which there is no response by the Police or Fire Division, or when the cause has been proven to be an act of God, or for the first false alarm from any location shall only receive a warning and shall not assessed a charge. (Ord. 5-82.  Passed 2-8-82.)

          (3)     A.     Any charge for a false alarm, as provided for in subsection (e)(1)A. hereof, which remains unpaid thirty (30) days after date of invoice, shall result in the cancellation of the permit.

               B.     Any charge for a false alarm, as provided for in subsection (e)(1)B. hereof, which remains unpaid thirty (30) days after the date of invoice, shall be grounds for revoking or refusing a renewal or granting of an alarm dealer's license.

 

     (f)     General Requirements.

          (1)     All equipment used in installations for which a permit is required shall meet the applicable standards of the Underwriters Laboratories and/or the National Fire Protection Association, and/or other recognized industry standards.  An applicant may be required to submit evidence of the reliability and suitability of the equipment to be installed.

          (2)     The sensory mechanism used in connection with such devices shall be adjusted to suppress false indications of fire or intrusion, so that the devices will not be activated by impulses due to transient pressure change in water pipes, short flashes of light, wind noises such as rattling or vibrating of doors or windows, vehicular noises adjacent to the installation, or other forces unrelated to genuine alarms.

          (3)     All components comprising such a device shall be maintained by the owner or lessee in good repair to assure reliability of operation. 

          (4)     Each alarm equipment supplier that sells or leases to a person an automatic protection device which is installed on such person's premises in the City shall furnish that person with instructions as to the way the device operates, along with maintenance instructions.

          (5)     Each alarm equipment supplier shall also supply the Chief of Police and/or Chief of Fire with a copy of the instructions as to the way the device operates.  If the Police or Fire Chief find such to be incomplete, unclear or otherwise inadequate, he may require the alarm equipment supplier to have the same revised to meet his approval and then promptly have copies distributed to persons for whom installations of such devices are made.

          (6)     Each alarm equipment supplier that sells or leases to a person an automatic protection device which is installed on such person's premises in the City for which a permit is required shall provide for receiving calls for service, directly or through an agent, on a twenty-four (24) hour basis, seven (7) days a week, and shall respond to such calls within eight (8) hours of the time they are received.

          (7)     At the time of installation, each alarm equipment supplier shall furnish to the person for whom an automatic protection device has been installed, written information as to how service can be obtained at any time, including the telephone number to call for service; and such person shall be responsible for having the device repaired as quickly as possible after he learns, either from his own sources or from notification by the City, that the device is not working properly.

          (8)     The Chief of Police and the Chief of Fire or any officer designated by them shall have the authority, at reasonable times and upon oral notice, to enter upon any premises within the City, to inspect the installation and operation of an automatic protection device or signaling device, the purpose of which is to report an emergency to the police and/or fire station.

          (9)     All equipment, the use or installation of which is subject to this chapter, shall be maintained in good operating condition.  The Chief of Police and/or the Chief of Fire may require that repairs be made whenever he has determined that such are necessary to assure proper operation.

          (10)     For violation of this section, for failure to properly maintain an installation or when the number  of false alarms for any installation equals ten (10) in any twelve (12) month period, the Chief of Police and/or Chief of Fire shall serve written notice upon a permit holder of intent to revoke his permit.  Such notice shall be given not less than seven (7) days prior to revocation.  Such notice shall state the right of the permit holder to appeal to the Safety-Service Director.  If an appeal is filed in writing, the Director shall hold a hearing on the matter and shall render a decision on the basis of the facts presented.  The Director's decision shall be final.  In the event no appeal is filed, the Chief of Police and/or the Chief of Fire shall transmit all pertinent information to the Director who shall cancel the permit.  The Chief of Police and/or the Chief of Fire shall take whatever steps are necessary to disconnect the alarms.

 

     (g)     Liability of City.  The issuance of any permit or permits in conjunction with this section shall not constitute acceptance by the City of any liability to maintain any equipment, to answer alarms, or for anything in connection therewith.

 

     (h)     Rules and Regulations.  The Safety-Service Director or his authorized representative shall make and enforce such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, and for the proper determination and collection of the fees and charges herein provided.

(Ord. 120-76. Passed 11-88-76.)

 

     (i)     Permit and Inspection Fee.  A fee as set forth in Section l321.05 of the Codified Ordinances shall be paid to the City for each permit issued as provided herein, to cover administrative and inspection costs.  Such permit shall not be transferable and shall be renewable each year during the month of original issuance of the permit.  There shall be no fee for renewal. (Ord. 5-82.  Passed 2-8-82.)

 
701.14  LIABILITY OF CITY.

     The issuance of any license in conjunction with this Chapter shall not constitute acceptance by the City of any liability to maintain any alarm systems and related equipment, to answer alarms, or for anything in connection therewith.

(Ord. 120-76.  Passed 11-22-76.)

 
701.99  PENALTY.

     Whoever violates any provision of this Chapter shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor for the first offense.  Whoever violates any provision of this Chapter shall be guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor for the second offense or subsequent offenses

(Ord. 7-82.  Passed 2-8-82.)