False Alarm Ordinance
In This Page
This subchapter is enacted pursuant to authority given by ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 47-5.
(1980 Code, § 93.035) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
The purpose of this subchapter is to define and abate public nuisances, which are a detriment to the safety and public welfare of the people of the county. The nuisances herein defined are declared to be detrimental to the safety and public welfare of the people of the county.
(1980 Code, § 93.036) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
For the purpose of this subchapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ALARM SYSTEM - Any device, the purpose of which is to detect the occurrence of any emergency, and is designed to transmit an audible, visual, or other signal indicating the occurrence of the emergency.
ALARM USER - The person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind in control of any building, structure, facility, or portion thereof wherein an alarm system is maintained.
AUTOMATIC DIALING SYSTEM - Any alarm system which, upon being activated, automatically transmits by telephone line a recorded message or code signal indicating a need for emergency response.
CONTACT PERSON - A person who is notified when an alarm is activated who may or may not be a key holder. The CONTACT PERSON should have knowledge of the owner's whereabouts, or be able to provide information needed during an emergency.
DIRECT LINE ALARM SYSTEM - Any alarm device running directly from a specific location to the Sheriffs, Police, or Fire Departments, and connected by leased telephone lines.
FALSE ALARM - The activation of an alarm system which elicits a response form the Sheriffs Department or any Fire Department response where the Sheriffs Department also responds, when the situation requiring such a response does not in fact exist.
- FALSE ALARM. Shall not include alarms activated by:
- Criminal activity or unauthorized entry;
- Hurricane or tornado winds causing structural damage to the protected premises;
- Flooding of the protected premises due to overflow of natural drainage;
- Lightning bolt causing physical damage to the protected premises;
- Fire causing damage to the protected premises verified by the Fire Department;
- Telephone line malfunction.
- If the alarm, when communicated to the Sheriffs Department before an officer is dispatched to investigate, is clearly identified to the department as resulting from authorized entry, authorized system test, or other noncriminal cause, it shall not be considered a false alarm.
- If Sheriff units responding to an alarm and checking the protected premises according to standard department operating procedures do not discover any evidence of unauthorized entry or criminal activity, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the alarm is false. Entries on the Sheriffs Department's complaint offense card shall be prime facie evidence of the facts stated there with regard to alarms and responses.
KEY HOLDER - A person authorized by the alarm user to have access to the protected premises and alarm system by use of a key or combination to provide emergency entrance to the premises and to silence audible alarms.
SUBSCRIBER - A person who contacts for or receives service or maintenance with respect to an alarm system from an alarm business.
(1980 Code, § 93.037) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210. passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
A false alarm as defined in § 93.042 is declared a public nuisance.
(1980 Code, § 93.038) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210. passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
Whenever an alarm system is activated, thereby requiring an emergency response to the location by the Sheriff's Department or the Fire Department where a member of the Sheriffs Department also responds, the deputy on the scene of the activated alarm system shall inspect the area protected by the system and shall determine whether the emergency response was in fact bona fide. If the deputy or Fire Chief at the scene of the activated alarm system determines the alarm to be false, the deputy shall make a report of the false alarm, a notification of which shall be mailed or delivered to the holder of the alarm system advising the holder of the false alarm.
(1980 Code, § 93.039) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
Any automatic dialing telephone alarm installed and operative on the effective date hereof is hereby declared to be a nuisance. It shall be unlawful for any person or business to program any device (automatic dialing systems) utilized to transmit an intrusion or a signaling of an alarm system to any police emergency line (911) or to any telephone line utilized by the Will County Sheriff's Office. For each occurrence, a false alarm fee of $50 may be assessed against the holder of an alarm system for utilizing an A.D.D. device.
(1980 Code, § 93.040) (Res, 86-51, passed 5-15-1986; Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-1999; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
- No person shall operate any direct line alarm system without first obtaining a permit required by this section.
- Any user who obtains authority from the Sheriff or his designee to use a direct line alarm system may contract with any alarm system service of its choice for the installation, maintenance, and servicing of the alarm system to be installed,
- provided the subscriber has obtained a permit as required by this section.
- Applications for permits shall be filed with the Sheriff or his designee on forms supplied by the Sheriffs Department and accompanied by a fee of $300 for the first year and $180 per year thereafter. The fee shall be payable once a year and is nonrefundable.
- The application shall state the name, address, and telephone number of the applicant's property to be serviced, as well as a description of the system and the location wherein it is proposed to be installed. The application shall also contain the name, address, and telephone number of a representative of the installer who can be contacted at any time by the department in case of emergency.
- The Sheriff or his or her designee shall approve the application if he finds that:
- The use of the alarm system in question will not interfere with the orderly conduct of county business;
- The alarm equipment supplier installing the system maintains a service organization capable of promptly and effectively repairing, maintaining, and otherwise servicing the alarm system sold or leased by him.
- Notwithstanding the above, the Sheriff may impose reasonable conditions on the issuance and exercise of permits relating to the ability of the department to respond to such alarms based upon the location of the alarm system and access thereto.
- The users of the direct line alarm systems are subject to the provisions of this subchapter in regards to false alarms.
(1980 Code, § 93.041) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
All outside audible alarms on burglar alarm systems are required to be of the resetting type, capable of being deactivated by a key holder. Owners of outside audible burglar alarms that ring for more than 15 minutes are subject not only to a false alarm violation charge, but may also face criminal charges under ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, § 26-1, for provoking a breach of the peace. A false alarm fee of fifty dollars ( $50.00 ) may be assessed against the holder of an alarm system for the holder's failure to silence an activated alarm within 15 minutes. Commercial fire alarm systems are not required to have a time out feature on the outside audible alarms. Users of commercial fire alarm systems shall be required to post names and telephone numbers of emergency response key holders in a conspicuous location.
(1980 Code, § 93.042) (Res 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
All alarm companies doing business in the county must be licensed by the state, and the license shall appear on the user permit or information card.
(1980 Code, § 93.043) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210. passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
The county shall take every reasonable precaution to ensure that alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages received by the Sheriffs Department are given appropriate attention and are acted upon with dispatch. Nevertheless, the county shall not be liable for any defects in operation of any alarm type of system, for any failure or neglect to respond appropriately upon receipt of an alarm, nor for the failure or neglect of any person in connection with the installation and operation of equipment, the transmission of alarm signals and prerecorded alarm messages, or the relaying of such signals and messages. This subchapter shall not create any legal duty obligating the county to accept the installation of a remote annunciator on the premises of the Sheriffs Department, continue the connection of any alarm system to the Sheriffs Department, or respond or accord any priority to an alarm from an activated alarm system.
(1980 Code, § 93.045) (Res. 86-51, passed 5-15-86; Am. Res. 99-210, passed 5-20-99; Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
An alarm user shall:
- Maintain the premises and the alarm system in a manner that will minimize or eliminate false alarm dispatches; and
- Make every reasonable effort to respond or cause a representative to respond to the alarm system's location within one hour when notified by the county to deactivate a malfunctioning alarm system to provide access to the premises or to provide security for the premises, and not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the alarm system was intended to report.
- An alarm user shall adjust the mechanism or cause the mechanism to be adjusted so that an alarm signal audible on the exterior of an alarm site will sound for no longer than 15 minutes after being activated.
- An alarm user shall have a properly licensed alarm business inspect his alarm system after two false alarm dispatches in a one-year period. After three false alarm dispatches in a one-year period the alarm user must have a properly licensed alarm business modify the alarm system to be more false-alarm resistant or provide additional user training as appropriate.
(Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
When an alarm has been activated at a business or private residence and the Sheriffs Department, or other police jurisdiction, responds, the owner or his representative shall be present at such location after being requested to do so by a representative of the Sheriffs Department or alarm equipment supplier responsible for making such notification. Response will be as soon as possible but shall not exceed one hour from time of request. A false alarm fee of $50 may be assessed against the holder of an alarm system for the holder's failure to respond to the protected premises within one hour of the activation of a remote alarm system after being requested to do so by a representative of the Sheriffs department or alarm equipment supplier responsible for making such notification.
(Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)
Individuals and businesses will have 30 days to pay an invoice generated as the result of a false alarm. Invoices not paid within 30 days are subject to a $25.00 additional late fee for each outstanding invoice. Invoices not paid within 60 days, including any late fees or penalties will be referred to the courts or adjudication hearing process.
(Ord. 11-287, passed 8-18-2011)