6-3-2: Alarm Users’ Registration Required
6-3-3: Service Charges For Excessive False Alarms
6-3-4: No Response To Process
6-3-5: Additional Duties Of Alarm User
6-3-6: Alarm Business Duties
6-3-7: Nonpermitted System And Uses
6-3-8: Special Registrations
6-3-9: Administrative Hearing
6-3-10: Outside Audible Fire Alarm Systems
Unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, terms defined herein shall have the following meanings when used in this chapter:
A. Alarm Business: The business by any individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity of selling, leasing, maintaining, monitoring, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any alarm system on real property.
B. Alarm Dispatch Request: A notification to a law enforcement agency that an alarm, either manual or automatic, has been activated at a particular alarm site.
C. Alarm Site: A single fixed premises or location served by an alarm system or systems. Each tenancy, if served by a separate alarm system in a multi-tenant building or complex, shall be considered a separate alarm site.
D. Alarm System: Any system, device or mechanism which, when activated, transmits a signal or message to a private monitoring company or to some other entity, or emits an audible or visible signal that can be heard or seen by persons outside the protected premises, or transmits a signal beyond the premises in some other fashion, except any system, device or mechanism primarily protecting a motor vehicle, or a medical alarm.
E. Alarm System Monitoring Company: An alarm business that offers monitoring of an alarm system for purposes of notifying the Police or Fire Departments.
F. Alarm User: Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind from whom a registration is required under this chapter who/which uses or is in control of any alarm system at its alarm site.
G. Automatic Dialing Device: A device that is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by voice message or code signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response. Such a device is an alarm system.
H. Burglary Alarm System: An alarm system designed or used for detection and reporting of an unauthorized entry or attempted unauthorized entry upon real property protected by the system.
I. Department: The City of Renton Police Department.
J. Department’s Communication Center: The Department’s dispatch center which receives requests for service for police and fire.
K. Economically Disadvantaged Person: A person receiving public assistance.
L. Engaging in Business Activities: An alarm system monitoring company is “engaging in business activities” if it offers monitoring of an alarm system, for purposes of notifying the Police or Fire Departments, and the system being monitored is located within the City of Renton. An alarm business is engaging in business activities if it conducts any of the activities identified in subsection A of this Section, within the City of Renton.
M. False Alarm: The activation or attempted activation of any burglary and/or robbery alarm system when no crime is being committed or attempted on the premises. An alarm shall be presumed to be false if the police officers responding do not locate any evidence of an intrusion or commission of an unlawful act or emergency on the premises which might have caused the alarm to sound, but does not include alarms caused by violent conditions of nature or other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the alarm business operator or alarm user.
N. Interconnect: To connect an alarm system including an automatic dialing device to a telephone line, either directly or through a mechanical device that utilizes a telephone, for the purpose of using the telephone line to transmit a message upon the activation of the alarm system.
O. No Response: Police officers will not be dispatched to investigate a report of an alarm dispatch request.
P. Panic/Trouble Alarm: An alarm system designed or used for alerting police of the need for immediate assistance or aid in order to avoid injury or serious bodily harm.
Q. Person: A human being, business, corporation, partnership, or other business enterprise.
R. Police Chief: The Chief of the City of Renton Police Department.
S. Police Department: The City of Renton Police Department.
T. Premises: Any area or building and any portion of any area or building protected by an alarm system.
U. Registration Year: January 1 to and including December 31.
V. Robbery Alarm System: An alarm system designed or used for alerting others of a robbery or other crime in progress which involves potential serious bodily injury or death.
W. Special Alarm User: A person who is required by federal, state, county, or municipal law, regulation, rule or ordinance to install, maintain and operate an alarm system.
X. System Subscriber: Person, corporation, firm, partnership, association, company, organization or other business entity who purchased or contracted for any alarm system.
Y. Verification: An attempt by an alarm company, or its representative, to contact the alarm site by telephonic or other electronic means, whether or not actual contact with a person is made, before an alarm dispatch request is made. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. No person shall operate or use an alarm system on any premises under that person’s control, within the City of Renton, without first having obtained from the Police Department a separate registration for each premises protected by an alarm system.
B. The Police Department may not respond to any call to an alarm from an alarm system for which a registration has not first been obtained. Except: the police may respond to one such call and thereafter notify the alarm user that there may be no future police response until registration is first obtained.
C. For the purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be an operator or user of an alarm system if:
1. The person controls both the alarm system and the premises upon which it is installed; or
2. The person controls the premises and is the subscriber, client or tenant of the system subscriber; or
3. The person is the system subscriber or alarm user.
D. All persons required to obtain a registration must complete a registration application form which is provided by the Police Department. Information required to be provided on the registration application form includes, but is not limited to:
1. Name, address and telephone number(s) of subscriber and/or alarm user;
2. Names and telephone numbers of three (3) additional persons who may be able to respond in the event of alarm activation in the absence of the alarm user and said persons may provide access to the premises and be able to deactivate alarm, or said persons may provide information on who to contact for access;
3. The electrical inspection permit number, where applicable;
4. The name of the alarm business responsible for maintenance;
5. The information required in subsection D.3 of this Section shall not apply to alarms which are installed in residential units;
6. The information required in subsection D.3 of this Section shall not apply to (a) existing alarms or (b) alarms which are installed in multiple-tenant buildings.
E. Failure to complete the required information will result in denial of the registration.
F. Each registration shall be given a number which shall not be transferable.
G. Completed applications for an alarm user’s registration and a fee as set forth in the Fee Schedule shall be filed with the Police Department, except that no fee shall be charged for alarms installed prior to enactment of this chapter if a registration application for such existing alarm system is filed within ninety days after enactment of this chapter.
H. A late registration penalty as set forth in the Fee Schedule will be charged, in addition to the fee provided in subsection G of this Section, to a user who fails to obtain a registration within 30 days after the system becomes operative, or to a current user who fails to obtain a registration as provided in subsection G.
I. Registration fees shall be payable to the City of Renton and deposited into the City’s General Fund to be used exclusively for the direct or indirect support of law enforcement activities.
J. Any person who owns, operates, or possesses any alarm system within the City of Renton, which does not conform to the requirements of this chapter, shall disconnect that alarm and render it inoperable or alter it in accordance with this chapter no later than December 31, 2000.
K. If a residential alarm user is over the age of 62, or is an economically disadvantaged person and is a resident of the residence, and if no business is conducted in the residence, a registration may be obtained from the Police Department according to subsection D of this Section without the payment of a fee.
L. The following shall be required to obtain a registration under this chapter, but shall not be required to pay any registration fee:
Businesses which are nonprofit organizations, including but not limited to religious, civic, charitable, benevolent, nonprofit, cultural, governmental or youth organizations.
M. Alarm user shall notify Police Department, within ten days, of any change of information from that contained on the registration application. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. Service charges will be assessed by the Police Department for excessive false alarms during the registration year according to the schedule of fines found at RMC 5-1-4.
B. The Police Department shall notify the alarm user and the alarm business by regular mail of the fourth false alarm, the fine and the consequences of the failure to pay the fine. The Police Department shall also inform the alarm user of the right to attend an alarm user’s class OR appeal the validity of the false alarm determination, as provided in RMC 6-3-9E. If the fine has not been received in the Police Department and the alarm user has not registered for an “alarm user” class or there is no appeal pending on the validity of the false alarm, the Police Department shall send the notice of fine by certified mail along with a notice of late fee as set forth in the Schedule of Fines. If payment is not received within fifteen days of the day the notice of late fee was mailed, the police chief may initiate the no response process. The police chief shall provide notice as required by RMC 6-3-4B.
C. The fine for the fourth false alarm shall be waived for any alarm user who registers and successfully completes an alarm user class. Subsequent false alarm fines will remain the same for false alarms received after the alarm user class. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. After the sixth false alarm in a registration year, or the failure to pay any outstanding fines, the Police Department shall send a notification to the alarm user by mail, which will contain the following:
1. That the sixth false alarm has occurred or that there is an unpaid fine;
2. That if any additional false alarms occur within the remainder of the registration year, or if the outstanding fine remains unpaid, the police will not respond to any subsequent alarms without the express approval of the police chief, and the alarm user registration may be revoked;
3. That the approval of the police chief can only be obtained by applying in writing for reinstatement. The police chief may reinstate the alarm user upon finding that reasonable effort has been made to correct the false alarms which includes consideration of a letter from user’s alarm company, duly registered to do business in the City of Renton, which states the alarm system is operating properly and the alarm user’s agents are properly trained in the alarm system operation, and full payment has been made for any outstanding fees due to the City of Renton for false alarms. The City of Renton shall not be responsible for any costs incurred by the user to qualify for reinstatement;
4. That reinstated users will be billed for any false alarm responses after reinstatement, and the registration may be subject to further revocation after any additional false alarm responses during the remainder of the registration year. Registrations will not be reinstated if there are any outstanding fees or service charges due;
5. That the alarm user has the right to contest the validity of a false alarm determination through an appeal hearing as set forth in RMC 6-3-9; and
6. In the event the no response process has been initiated solely due to nonpayment of fines, the police chief will reinstate the alarm user upon finding that all outstanding fines have been paid.
B. After the sixth false alarm within a registration year, there will be no police response to subsequent alarms without approval of the police chief. After the sixth false alarm, the police chief shall send a notification of the suspension to:
1. The Department’s Communications Center;
2. The Department;
3. The alarm user, by certified mail; and
4. The persons listed on the alarm user’s registration who are to be contacted in case of an emergency, by certified mail.
C. The suspension of police response to an alarm shall begin no sooner than ten days after the date of delivery of the notice of suspension of service to the alarm user unless a written request for a false alarm validity hearing has been made in the required time period as set forth in RMC 6-3-9. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. The premises shall display the street address at or near the front of the premises and at other places where access is available, such as from an alley or parking lot. The street address shall be clearly visible and readable from the exterior of the premises.
B. If requested to do so by the Department, the alarm user or his or her designee shall respond to a premises following activation of an alarm system for which a registration has been issued within a reasonable time, and in any event, within one hour after said notification. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. Every alarm business engaging in business activities in the City of Renton shall:
1. Be registered to do business in the City of Renton.
2. Submit standard user form instructions to the police chief. If the police chief finds the instructions are incomplete, unclear, or inadequate, the police chief will require the alarm business to revise the instructions to comply with subsection A.3 of this Section, and then to distribute the revised instructions to its alarm users.
3. Provide the police chief information about the nature of its property alarms, burglary alarms, robbery alarms and panic alarms, its method of monitoring, its program for preventing false alarms and its method of disconnecting audible alarms.
4. Furnish the user with instructions that provide information to enable the user to operate the alarm system at any time. The alarm business shall also inform each alarm user of the requirement to obtain a registration and where it can be obtained, and the consequences of the failure to register.
B. Every alarm system monitoring company engaging in business activities in the City of Renton shall:
1. Establish a process for alarm verification. The verification process shall not take more than five minutes, calculated from the time that the alarm signal has been accepted by the alarm business monitoring the system, until a decision is made whether to call for a police dispatch. The means of verification may include one or more of the following:
a. The establishment of voice communication with an authorized person at or near the premises who will indicate whether or not the need for immediate police assistance or investigation exists;
b. A feature that permits the alarm system user or a person authorized by the user to send a special signal to the alarm system monitoring company that will cancel an alarm immediately after it has been sent and prevent the monitoring company from calling for a police dispatch;
c. The installation of a video system that provides the alarm system monitoring company, when the signal is received, with the ability to ascertain that activity is occurring which warrants immediate police assistance or investigation;
d. A confirmation that a signal reflects a need for immediate police assistance or investigation either by the alarm system user or a person at or near the premises before dispatching police; or
e. An alternate system that the Police Chief determines has, or is likely to have, a high degree of reliability.
2. Coordinate with the Department’s Communication Center to develop a process to cancel an alarm dispatch that is consistent with the Communication Center’s standard operating procedures.
3. When requesting an alarm response, provide the Department’s Communication Center with the registration number for that premises. The Department need not respond if the registration number is not provided. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. No person shall operate or use an alarm system which emits an audible sound where such emission does not automatically cease within 5 minutes. Nothing in this Section shall limit the duration of a fire or other evacuation alarm during a bona fide emergency when the sound may assist in saving life or avoiding injury.
B. No person shall use an alarm system to protect more than one business and/or private residence without receiving a separate registration for each business and/or private residence to be protected.
C. No person shall operate or use any alarm system for which the registration has been revoked or has not been obtained. Except: where notification to the Fire Department is interconnected in the same alarm system, the alarm may be activated but there will be no police response until registration is obtained.
D. No person shall operate or use any alarm system which automatically dials the Department directly and delivers a prerecorded message. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. An alarm user required by federal, state, county or municipal law, regulation, rule or ordinance to install, maintain and operate an alarm system shall be subject to the alarm system regulations, provided:
1. A registration shall be designated a special alarm user’s registration.
2. A special alarm user’s registration for a system that has five false alarms in a registration year shall not be subject to the no response procedure but is still required to pay the penalty fees and service charges.
B. An alarm user that is a governmental political unit shall be subject to this chapter, but a registration shall be issued without payment of a fee and shall not be subject to service charges or the imposition of any penalty provided herein. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. An alarm user may appeal the validity of a false alarm determination to the police chief. The appeal shall be in writing and shall be requested within ten days of the notice of penalty received from the Police Department or police chief. Failure to contest the false alarm determination in the required time period results in a conclusive presumption for all purposes that the alarm was false.
B. If a hearing is requested, written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served on the user by the police chief, by certified mail, at least ten days prior to the date set for the hearing, which shall not be more than 21 nor less than ten days after the filing of the request for hearing.
C. The hearing shall be before the police chief or his/her designee. The alarm user and a representative of the Police Department shall have the right to present written and oral evidence. If the Police Chief or his/her designee determines that the false alarms alleged have occurred in the same registration year, he/she will issue written findings waiving, expunging or entering the false alarm designation on an alarm user’s record. If false alarm designations are entered on the alarm user’s record, the Police Department shall pursue the collection of the penalty fines. If the civil penalty is not found to be proper, then the alarm user shall bear no costs.
D. If a hearing is canceled more than ten days after its request, then a cancellation fee, as set forth in the Fee Schedule, must be paid in addition to the amount of the civil infraction.
E. The decision made by the Administrative Hearing Officer may be appealed to the King County District Court. The appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days from the date of the decision of the Administrative Hearing Officer. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
A. No provision of this chapter shall in any way prohibit, curtail or limit the use of outside audible fire alarm systems now in use which are activated by heat or by lack of water pressure or similar means.
B. No disconnection of any existing alarm system shall be ordered as to any premises which by law is required to have an alarm system in operation. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
In addition to the penalties and regulations provided herein, any person who violates any provisions of this chapter shall be found to have committed a civil infraction. Except: that conduct which violates the now existing RCW 9.40.100 or 9A.84.040, or as those sections may be amended hereafter, shall be punished as provided therein. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)
If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected. (Ord. 2831, 1-11-74; amd. Ord. 4257, 1-22-90; Ord. 4263, 3-19-90; Ord. 4462, 7-25-94; Ord. 4852, 8-7-00)