1 BYLAW BEING A BYLAW OF THE TOWN OF OKOTOKS IN THE PROVINCE OF ALBERTA FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDUCING FALSE ALARMS WHEREAS the Municipal Government Act RSA 2000, M -26 and regulations as amended, provides that Council may pass bylaws for municipal purposes respecting the safety, health and welfare of people; the protection of people and property; nuisances; services provided by or on behalf of the municipality; public utilities; and the enforcement of bylaws; AND WHEREAS excessive numbers of false alarms are being permitted to occur by the owners or users of security and fire alarm systems; AND WHEREAS these false alarms require emergency responses from Police and Fire Services that pose a threat to the safety of Police and Fire Service members and members of the public by creating unnecessary hazards and delaying the Police and Fire Services response to true emergencies. NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF OKOTOKS DULY ASSEMBLED ENACTS AS FOLLOWS: 1. TITLE This Bylaw may be known as the "False Alarm Bylaw ". 2. DEFINITIONS In this bylaw, including this section, unless the context otherwise requires: 2.1 " Act" means the Municipal Government Act, RSA 2000, M -26 and regulations as amended. 2.2 " alarm signal" means a telephone request for emergency services or any other electronic signal. 2.3 " alarm system" includes a device or devices designated to activate an alarm signal but excludes a device that is installed in a vehicle. 2.4 " Chief Administrative Officer" means the Chief Administrative Officer of the Town of Okotoks appointed by Council, hereinafter referred to as the Municipal Manager.
2 Page 2 of " emergency services" means the Town of Okotoks Fire Department and its members and the Police service of jurisdiction and its members. 2.6 " false alarm" means the activation of a security alarm or fire alarm system as a result of which services, including Police Services and Fire Services, are provided on behalf of the Town and the providers of the service do -not find any unauthorized entry or commission of an unlawful act or any evidence of fire, fire damage, smoke in relation to the building, structure, residence or facility, or where there has been no emergency situation. False alarm incidents include but are not limited to: a) the testing of an alarm which results in a Police or Fire response, b) an alarm actually or apparently activated by mechanical failure, malfunction or faulty equipment, c) an alarm activated by user error, d) an alarm reporting an attempted or completed criminal offence, fire or an emergency situation occurring on or in relation to the address in which the alarm system is installed where no evidence exists or where no such event took place, e) an alarm actually or apparently activated by atmospheric conditions, excessive vibrations or power failure. 2.7 " fire alarm system" means a device or devices installed on or in real property and designed to issue a warning of a fire by activating an audible alarm signal or alerting a monitoring service but does not include a fire alarm system that is intended to alert only the occupants of a single family dwelling unit in which it is installed. 2.8 " Fire Department" means the Okotoks Fire Department. 2.9 " hold up alarm" means an alarm system designed to indicate the occurrence of a hold up or robbery " monitoring service" means a person, partnership or company engaged in the business of monitoring alarm systems and reporting the occurrence of alarms to the Police and Fire Services " occupant" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind " person" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind " Police" means the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
3 Page 3 of " Peace Officer" means: a) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; b) a Community Peace Officer as appointed by the Solicitor General of Alberta; or c) a Bylaw Officer as appointed by the Town of Okotoks to enforce bylaws of the Town " premises" means a store, office, warehouse, factory, building, enclosure, yard or other place occupied or capable of being occupied by any person for the purpose of carrying on any business or as a residential dwelling " security alarm system" means any mechanical, electrical or electronic device which is designed, intended or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure, facility or surrounding area, or for alerting others to the commission of an unlawful act, or both, and which emits a sound or transmits a message, or does both, but does not include: a) a device which registers an alarm which is not audible, visible or perceptible outside the premises inside which it is installed, or b) a device which is installed in a motor vehicle " Town" means the Town of Okotoks, a Municipal Corporation in the Province of Alberta, or the geographical area contained within the boundaries of the Town of Okotoks, as the context may require " violation tag" means a notice or tag in a form as approved by the Municipal Manager, issued by the Town of Okotoks allowing a voluntary payment option of a fine established under this Bylaw " violation ticket" means a ticket issued pursuant to Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedures Act, RSA 2000, C P -34, as amended and any regulations thereto. 3. RESPONSIBILITIES 3.1 It shall be an offense for a monitoring service to report an alarm to emergency services other than a hold up alarm or fire alarm, unless it has first placed a telephone call to the premises from which the alarm was sent to verify that the alarm is not a false alarm. 3.2 The occupant of premises shall be responsible for the proper use, installation, maintenance and operations of any security alarm system or fire alarm system installed on or in the premises in order to ensure the prevention of false alarms.
4 Page 4 of 7 4. FEES TO BE CHARGED FOR ATTENDANCE AT FALSE ALARMS 4.1 The occupant of a premises to which the services of the Police or the Fire Department are provided in response to a false alarm shall pay to the Town of Okotoks the following fees: a) if in any 12 month period the emergency services respond to three (3) false alarms originating from one alarm system, the Detachment Commander or Fire Chief shall cause a notice to be sent to the occupant of the premises in which the alarm system is installed advising of the occurrence of the false alarms and of the consequences which may arise if further false alarms occur. b) if in any 12 month period the emergency services respond to four (4) or more false alarms originating from one alarm system, there shall be imposed on the occupant of the premises in which the alarm system is installed a fee of for the fourth and each subsequent false alarm. c) if in any 12 month period the fire services respond to two (2) or more false fire alarms originating from one fire alarm system, there shall be imposed upon the occupant of the premises at which a false fire alarm incident has occurred, the following standby fee in any case where the designated property reference fails to attend within 30 minutes of notification. Fire Department standby rate $ per hour or portion thereof. d) if in any 12 month period the Police respond to five (5) or more false alarms originating from one alarm system, the Detachment Commander may cause a notice to be sent to the occupant of the premises in which the alarm system is installed advising that the Police shall not respond to subsequent alarms. e) in the event that emergency services personnel cause forced entry to the premises due to the false alarm, all costs incurred to secure the building will be imposed on the occupant of the premises. f) any fees imposed under this Bylaw shall be due and payable within 45 days of invoice and, if not paid on December 31st of the year in which they are imposed, shall be added to and form part of the taxes payable on the premises as taxes in arrears. 5. OFFENCES AND PENALTIES: 5.1 Any person who breaches any provision of this Bylaw is guilty of an offence and shall pay a specified penalty as outlined in this Bylaw. 5.2 All persons in contravention of this Bylaw shall receive a grace period of 3 months from the date the Bylaw comes into force after which time the specified penalties shall come into force.
5 Page 5 of Any person who contravenes any provision of this Bylaw is guilty of an offence and liable upon the issuance of a Violation Tag the specified penalty as specified within this Bylaw or upon summary conviction to a fine of not less than the amount specified within this Bylaw for each offence, exclusive of costs. 5.4 A Peace Officer is hereby authorized and empowered to issue a violation tag to any person who the Peace Officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe has contravened any provision of this Bylaw. 5.5 A violation tag may be issued to such person: a) personally; or b) by mailing a copy to such person at his last known mailing address; or c) if being issued to a corporation, by serving the violation tag personally upon the manager, secretary, receptionist or other officer or person apparently in charge at any premises of the corporation, or by mailing a copy to such person by registered mail. 5.6 The violation tag shall be in a form approved by the Municipal Manager and shall state: a) the name of the person; b) the municipal or legal description of the land on or near where the offence took place; c) the offence; d) the penalty for the offence as set out in Section 7 of this Bylaw; e) that the penalty shall be paid within twenty two (22) days of the issuance of the violation tag; and f) any other information as may be required by the Municipal Manager or by the provisions of the Act or the Provincial Offences Procedure Act, RSA 2000, C P -34 as amended. 5.7 Where a contravention of this Bylaw is of a continuing nature, further violation tags may be issued by a Peace Officer provided, however, that no more than one violation tag shall be issued for each day that the contravention continues. 5.8 Where the violation tag is issued pursuant to this Bylaw, the person to whom the violation tag is issued may, in lieu of being prosecuted for the offence, pay to the Town the penalty specified on the violation tag.
6 Page 6 of Nothing in this Bylaw shall prevent a Peace Officer from immediately issuing a violation ticket In those cases where a violation tag has been issued and the penalty or penalties specified on the violation tag have not been paid within the prescribed time, a Peace Officer is hereby authorized and empowered to issue a violation ticket pursuant to Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act, RSA 2000, C P -34, as amended, or as repealed and replaced from time to time Notwithstanding any provision of this Bylaw, a Peace Officer is hereby authorized and empowered, without having first issued a violation tag, and at the Peace Officer's discretion, to issue a violation ticket pursuant to Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act RSA 2000, C P -34, to any person who the Peace Officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe has contravened any provision of this Bylaw. 6. SUMMARY CONVICTION 6.1 A person who contravenes a provision of this Bylaw by doing something which he is prohibited from doing, or by failing to do something which he is required to do, or by doing something in a manner different from that in which he is required or permitted to by this Bylaw, is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of not more than ten thousand ($10, ) dollars or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. 6.2 Any person who violates any provision of this Bylaw is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of not less than $ for a first offence and of not less than $ for a second or subsequent offence. 7. MINIMUM AND SPECIFIED PENALTIES 7.1 The specified penalty for a violation of any provision of this Bylaw is a fine in the amount of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00), and the minimum fine allowable for any such violation is two hundred dollars ($200.00). 7.2 Notwithstanding section 7.1 of this Bylaw, if a person violates the same provision of this Bylaw twice (or more) within a one year period, the minimum penalty allowable for the second (and subsequent) such violation(s) shall be a fine in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00). 8. SEVERABILITY 8.1 It is the intention of Council that each separate provision of this Bylaw shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein and it is the further intention of Council that if any provision of this Bylaw is declared invalid, all other provisions hereof shall remain valid and enforceable.
7 Bylaw Page 7of7 9. GENERAL 9.1 It is the intention of the Council of the Town that all offences created pursuant to this Bylaw be construed and considered as being Strict Liability Offences. 9.2 Whenever the singular and masculine gender is used in this Bylaw, the same shall include the plural, feminine and neuter gender whenever the context so requires. This Bylaw shall come into full force and effect upon third and final reading. READ A FIRST TIME this 25th day of January, READ A SECOND TIME this 22nd day of March, READ A THIRD TIME AND PASSED this 22nd day of March, Mayor M icipal Secretary
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