Ordinance #2013-4 - False Alarm Ordinance

PDF: Ordinance #2013-4 False Alarm Ordinance

The Town Board of the Town of Adams does hereby ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. TITLE. This Ordinance is entitled the “Town of Adams False Alarm Ordinance.”

SECTION 2. PURPOSE. False alarms, regardless of their cause, represent a significant public cost and endanger public safety by unnecessarily deploying fire or other emergency resources that would otherwise be poised to respond to actual emergency situations. The purpose of this Ordinance is to discourage the unnecessary deployment of such resources and reimburse the Town for the costs thereof. This Ordinance shall be liberally interpreted in the Town’s favor to achieve these purposes.

SECTION 3. SCOPE. A false alarm occurs for purposes of this Ordinance when any signal, alarm, other device, or person intended to be activated by or in response to a fire or other similar event or emergency situation is activated and the fire department is alerted but no such event has occurred and no emergency situation exists. This ordinance is intended to impose strict liability on the person, business, corporation or other entity who owns or occupies the property which is served by the alarm system and shall be applied regardless of the cause of the false alarm unless a specific exemption applies.


A. This Ordinance shall not apply to false alarms resulting from personal medical alert signals by personal devices carried by individuals with heightened medical factors to summon assistance in case of a medical emergency

B. This Ordinance shall not apply where a test of the alarm system is being conducted upon notice to law enforcement and other agencies that might reasonably be expected to respond to such an alarm, including the Adams County Fire District.

C. This ordinance shall not apply where an alarm is activated by weather and such activation could not have reasonably been prevented.

D. This Ordinance shall not apply to alarms related to activities referenced in sec. 66.0627 (7) Wis. Stats.

SECTION 5. FALSE ALARM CHARGE. The owner or occupant of any premises in the Town of Adams shall pay a special charge of $150 for the second and each subsequent false alarm involving such premises occurring within the same calendar year. The number of false alarms shall be based on records maintained by the Adams County Fire District. The District shall refer a false alarm report to the Town within 45 days of the date of the alarm.

SECTION 6. COLLECTION. The Town Treasurer shall provide written notice by regular mail of all charges due under this Ordinance to the owner and, if applicable, the occupant of the premises where the false alarm occurred. Such notice shall inform the owner and occupant of the right to appeal the charges being imposed under this Ordinance . Except as provided under Section 7, those charges shall be paid by the owner or occupant within 30 days of the date of notice. lf those charges are not paid within 30 days, they shall be considered a delinquent special charge and included in the current or next tax roll pursuant to 66.0527 Wis. Stats.

SECTION 7. APPEAL. Any property owner or occupant who receives a notice that false alarm charges are being imposed against him/her under this ordinance may appeal the imposition of said charges by serving written appeal upon the Town Clerk within 15 days after the date that the notice of such false alarm is mailed to him/her . Such appeal shall include a statement of grounds for appeal. The Town Clerk may prescribe a form to be used for appeals. If an appeal is filed, the time for payment under section 6 shall be suspended until the appeal is decided by the Town Board. The charge will be reimposed if the appeal is denied.

SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE. Following passage by the Town Board this Ordinance shall take effect the day after the date of publication or posting as provided by 60.80 Wis Stats.

PDF: Ordinance #2013-4 False Alarm Ordinance