For the purpose of this chapter, the words and/or phrases shall have the following meaning:
(a) “Accessibility” means any building or portion thereof that is serviced by an alarm must be capable of being reached by the responding deputy(ies) whether by patrol vehicle, by foot or no more than three hundred (300) feet from where the patrol vehicle can be parked. If there is any barrier such as a wall, gate, cliff, dog or any other material object that prevents, impedes or jeopardizes the safety of the responding deputies so that the alarm and/or building cannot be checked, it will be classified as “Inaccessible.”
(b) “Alarm agent” means any person using an alarm system at his/her place of residence or business, whether it be owned, leased or rented and made available for use by his/her agents, employees, representatives or family.
(c) “Alarm Board” means the alarm receiving center located in the Sheriff’s Emergency Communications Center.
(d) “Alarm business” means any person, firm or corporation engaged in the business of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving, removing, installing or monitoring an alarm system in or on any building, place or premises. This section specifically excludes retail establishments which sell, as part of their products, components for alarm systems; but which do not offer service, maintenance, repair, alteration, replacement, moving or installation of systems in or on any business, place or premises.
(e) “Alarm system” means any equipment which is designed or intended to notify persons of an emergency at a particular location to which the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is expected to respond. The term “alarm system” includes any equipment which is designed to detect an emergency, or which is designed to be activated by a person to report an emergency.
(f) “Alarm user” means any person using an alarm system at his/her place of residence or business, whether it be owned, leased or rented and made available for use by their agents, employees, representatives or family.
(g) “Audible alarm” means any alarm system which, when activated, emits a sound which is capable of being heard outside the structure where the system is located, even if the system is completely located within the structure.
(h) “Automatic dialing system” means any alarm system which automatically sends over regular telephone lines, by direct connection or otherwise, a prerecorded voice message indicating the existence of an emergency situation that the alarm system is designed to detect.
(i) “Business” means any premises that qualify under nonresidential use.
(j) “False alarm” means an alarm signal that prompts a response by the Sheriff’s Department when an emergency does not exist.
(1) Alarms generated by severe storms, earthquakes, or other violent acts of nature when an emergency does not exist shall not be deemed a false alarm.
(2) Alarm users may intentionally activate alarms only when necessary to alert police regarding human life in imminent jeopardy or in response to armed robberies, burglaries, or other felonies occurring on alarm premise at the time of such intentional alarm activation. All other alarm activations shall be deemed false alarms.
(3) Alarm users and/or their agents shall notify the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office by telephone prior to any service, test, repair, maintenance, alteration, or installation of an alarm system which might produce a false alarm and shall accomplish such notification via the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office business (non-emergency) telephone number. It will also be the responsibility of the alarm user or subscriber to notify Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office after the test is concluded. Prohibited alarm activation and alarm activation due to test of equipment without prior notification to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office shall constitute a false alarm. Testing shall be held to a minimum required to ensure proper operation of system(s).
(4) Alarm users, or alarm companies authorized by alarm users, may notify the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office by telephone after it is determined that a mechanical problem exists in the alarm system, that any alarm from said alarm is to be deemed a false alarm, and no response from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is necessary.
(5) Any alarm after said notification, and agreement that no response from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is necessary, shall not be deemed a false alarm. The waiver of response by the alarm owner which causes the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office not to respond shall be in writing and signed by the alarm owner.
(6) Alarm conditions generated by owner, if canceled through verified communication with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, prior to a deputy sheriff being dispatched, shall not be deemed a false alarm. For the purpose of this chapter “verified communication” is defined as communication on a direct line from an alarm company who has written authority from the alarm owner to call off alarms, or communication from a private alarm owner who has provided a confidential identification code to the Sheriff’s Office for the purpose of notifying the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of a false alarm. Any alarm owner may provide a confidential identification code for a neighbor or any other person said alarm owner wishes to authorize to cancel an alarm response which has proved to be a false alarm.
(k) Late Application Fee. If the Sheriff’s Department responds to the alarm activation without having an alarm permit on file, the permit holder is subject to a late alarm application fee as set forth in the Humboldt County Schedule of Fees and Charges for the first false alarm activation and shall be subject to the normal false alarm assessments as set forth in the Humboldt County Schedule of Fees and Charges for the second and subsequent false activations.
(l) “Penalty assessment” means the civil penalty against the permit holder in the form of a citation, letter or bill for the misuse or false activations of any alarm.
(m) “Permittee” or “permit holder” means any person holding an alarm permit issued under the provisions of this chapter.
(n) “Person” means any natural person, partnership, corporation, unincorporated association, or other business entity.
(o) “Residential” means any premises used as dwelling units which includes apartments and lodging houses.
(p) “Robbery/hold-up alarm” means any alarm system which is activated by the direct action of the person being robbed or an observer of the robbery.
(q) “Silent alarm” means any alarm system which, when activated, transmits an alarm signal to a receiving center without obvious local indication of alarm activation. (Ord. 1932, § 1, 4/30/1991; Ord. 1966, §§ 1, 2, 4/7/1992; Ord. 2672, Att. 1, 3/23/2021)