ORDINANCE NO. 0-08B-11
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, CITY OF
CROCKETT, TEXAS, BY THE AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 13, LICENSES AND
BUSINESS REGULATIONS, ADDING ARTICLE XI, TO IMPOSE REGULATION OF
FIRE ALARMS AND SECURITY ALARMS; IMPOSING FEES AND LICENSE
REQUIREMENTS; PROVIDING A PENALTY; CONTAINING A SEVERABILITY
CLAUSE; CONTAINING A REPEALING; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CROCKETT HEREBY ORDAINS:
SECTION 1: Article XI consisting of Sections .13.1000 through 13.1013, is added to Chapter
13 of the Crockett Code to read as follows:
Article XI. Fire Alarms and Security Alarms.
Section 13.1000. Definitions.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly
indicates or requires a different meaning.
Fire Alarm Actuating Device. A device that is designed to respond either manually or
automatically to smoke, fire, or activation of a fire extinguishing system.
Security Alarm Actuating Device. A device that is designed to respond automatically to
intrusion detection sensor devices of a Security Alarm System.
Alarm Site. A single location or premises served by an alarm system or that is under the control
of one person.
Alarm System. A device or system which transmits a signal which summons an emergency
service of the city. Alarm System does not include:
1. An alarm designed to alert only the inhabitants of a premise, if the alarm system does not omit
a signal that is audible or visible outside the premise that it is installed upon; nor
2. An alarm installed upon the premises occupied by the city.
Alarm Systems Company. Any person or company that sells installs t services t monitors t or
responds to fire alarm signal devices or any other electrical mechanical or electronic device
1. To prevent or detect fire; or
2. Primarily to detect and summon police for security alarm emergencies and include persons
relaying alarm notifications; or
3. Primarily to detect and summon aid for fire emergencies and include persons relaying alarm
Alarm User. The person, firm, partnership, associations, corporation, company or organization
of any kind which owns, controls or occupies any building, structure, facility or vehicle used for
habitation wherein an alarm system is maintained.
Automatic Dialing Device. An alarm system device which 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.
Business Owner. The owner of a retail establishment or commercial establishment or manager
City. The City of Crockett, Texas.
1. The activation of an alarm system which elicits a response from the Fire or Police Department
when the situation requiring such a response does not in fact exist. False Alarms include t but are
not limited to:
A. Error or mistake. Any action by any person, firm, corporation, association or other entity or
agency thereof owning or operating any dwelling building or place, which results in the activation
of any alarm system when no emergency exists;
B. Malfunction. Any activation of any Alarm System caused by a flaw in the normal operation,
design, installation, or maintenance of the system, by faulty equipment, or by a change in the
environment or premises upon, or within which, the alarm system is operating;
c. Intentional misuse. Any activation of an alarm system when one knows, has reason to know,
or should have known no fire or other emergency is in progress; and
D. Testing. Failure to notify' alarm monitoring service or testing. Any alarm transmitted to the
Fire or Police Department while alarm is being serviced or tested by personnel without
previously notifying the fire and police departments of test status.
2. The alarm will not be considered to be a false alarm if determined by the Fire or Police officer
in charge that the Security/Fire alarm was caused by:
A. A natural or manmade catastrophe or an act of God. Such events include, but are not limited
to tornadoes, floods, lightning (causing physical damage to the protected premises), or similar
violent conditions or adverse weather conditions;
B. Activation by other extraordinary circumstances not reasonably subject to control by the
alarm user; or
c. An alarm caused by a resident of the premises or other person who has pulled an alarm lever
and does not understand the consequences of his actions. (i.e., small child, elderly person).
False Fire Alarm Notification. A fire alarm notification to the Fire Department, when the
responding Fire Department personnel find no evidence of smoke or fire having occurred.
False Security Alarm Notification. A security alarm notification to the Police Department, when
the responding Police Department personnel find no evidence of an intrusion or other evidence
that an intrusion or attempted intrusion of the property occurred.
Fire Alarm Notification. A notification intended to summon firefighting forces, which is
indicated or triggered manually or automatically by an alarm system designed to react to any of
the visual or physical characteristics of fire.
Fire Chief. The Fire Chief or designee.
Fire Marshal. The Fire Marshal or designee.
Security Alarm Notification. A notification intended to summon Police Officers, which is
indicated or triggered by an alarm system designed to react to any of the visual or physical
characteristics of intrusion or security violation.
Police Chief. The Police Chief or designee.
Local Alarm. An Alarm system that emits a signal at an alarm site that is audible or visible from
the exterior of a structure.
Occupant. The person responsible for having the alarm system installed or activated.
Permit Holder. The person designated in the permit application who is responsible for
responding to alarms and giving access to the site and who is also responsible for proper
maintenance and operation of the alarm system and payment of fees and fines assessed under this
Permit Reinstatement Fee. A fee to be paid prior to having an alarm permit reinstated. The fee
shall be established by City Council resolution.
Person. An individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization, or similar entity.
Section 13. 1001. Permits Required; Applications; Fees; False Statements.
A. A person commits an offense if the person activates, operates or causes to be operated an
alarm system without first obtaining a permit from the Municipal Court Clerk, or while the
permit has not been renewed . Violations will result in a fine of $50.00 on the first occurrence
and $100.00 for subsequent violations.
B. Any person using an alarm system shall pay such permit fees, renewal fees, and service fees
as provided for in this chapter. There will be no annual permit fee. Permits must be renewed
annually, by the 31st day of January for each alarm system in use on January 1s t of that year.
Permit fees are as follows:
Initial Registration: $20.00 per alarm system. Should the facility have separate security and fire
systems, the fees will be $20.00 per system. This is a one time registration fee per system.
Annual permit fees: No annual permit fees will be assessed. . However, failure to register the
alarm system may result in fines specified in Section 13.1001 A. above.
C. A permit holder must pay any fees as assessed under the provisions of this chapter within 30
days after receiving notification from the city that a fee has been assessed. If the assessed fees
become 90 days delinquent, a 10% late charge will be added.
D. A permit holder will be assessed a $50.00 penalty fee for the signaling of a false alarm by a
security or fire alarm system in excess of five false alarms which will have occurred during the
preceding 12-month period. The penalty may be waived by the Municipal Court if the
Permit Holder submits documentation proving that he has performed all necessary repairs or
adjustments required by the city, and has complied with all provisions of this chapter.
E. A permit shall only be issued to the resident of a single-family dwelling, the tenant occupying
the unit of a multi-family complex, and the business owner of any retail or commercial
establishment. Permits are not transferable.
F. Contents of Application.
1. Each permit application shall contain the name, address, and telephone number of the person
who is responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the alarm system and payment of
fees or charges levied under this chapter.
2. Each retail or commercial permit application shall contain the names and phone numbers
(home and business) of two people who when notified by the Police or Fire Department will
come to the alarm site within 30 minutes if requested, to terminate the alarm signal and secure
3. Application for a permit under the provisions of this chapter constitutes a grant of approval to
the City to deactivate an alarm system that sounds an alarm signal for longer than 30 minutes.
G. False Statements. Any false statement or misrepresentation of a material fact made by an
applicant for the purpose of obtaining an alarm permit or renewal, or for the purpose of making a
change thereto, shall be sufficient cause for refusal to grant or to suspend a permit.
H. Upon receipt of a completed application form and the required permit fee (where applicable),
the Municipal Court Clerk shall issue an alarm permit to an applicant unless the applicant has
failed to pay a late fee, service fee and/or fines assessed under this chapter for which a bill has
I. An alarm permit is issued to a specific individual and a specific address. An alarm permit
cannot be transferred to another person or another address. However, the individual designated to
respond to an alarm or relay an alarm can be changed. A permit holder must inform the city of
any changes that alters information listed on the permit application. No fee will be assessed for
J. All fees owed by an applicant for whom a bill has been issued must be paid before a permit
may be issued.
K. Failure of the alarm user to renew an alarm permit by December 31 of each calendar year
shall be considered as not having a valid permit; provided, however, the city must give the
permit holder thirty (30) days notice before terminating an alarm permit for non-renewal.
L. An alarm user may utilize one permit for a combination fire and police alarm.
Section 13.1002. Permit Duration and Renewal.
A. A permit expires each year on December 31 and must be renewed annually by submitting an
updated application and a permit renewal fee to the Municipal Court Clerk.
B. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to submit an application prior to the permit
C. All service fees and late fees assessed under this chapter must be paid prior to renewal of the
Section 13.1003. Responsibilities of Permit Holders.
A. A permit holder in control of an alarm system shall:
1. Adjust or modify the sensory mechanism of the alarm system to suppress false indications of
force so that the alarm system will not be activated by impulses due to:
A. Transient pressure changes in water pipes;
B. Flashes of light; or
C. Other forces unrelated to actual emergencies.
2. Maintain the alarm system in a manner that will minimize false alarm notifications;
3. Respond or cause a representative to respond within
30 minutes when notified by the city to repair or de-inactivate a malfunctioning alarm system, to
provide access to the premises to provide security for the premises;
4. Not manually activate an alarm for any reason other than an occurrence of an event that the
alarm system was intended to report; and
5. Notify the Municipal Court Clerk in writing of the date a permit is to be cancelled or that the
permit will not be renewed. The notification must include the date the document was signed and
signature of the permit holder. The City must receive the cancellation or non-renewal notice in
writing no later than 15 days before the permit expiration date.
B. If a permit holder or an emergency contact person is contacted to inspect an unsecured
building or residence and fails to respond to the alarm site in the allowed time of 30 minutes to
secure the building or residence, a fee of $50.00 will be charged to the permit holder if the city
representatives have to secure the premises. The city is not responsible for loss or damage.
Section 13.1004. Duties of Alarm System Company.
Any alarm system company engaged in the business of monitoring alarm systems shall:
A. On the installation or activation of an alarm system, distribute to the occupant of the alarm
system location the following information:
1. A copy of this chapter;
2. Information on how to prevent false alarms; and
3. Information on how to operate the alarm system.
B. Report alarm signals only by using telephone numbers designated by the 911 Emergency
Dispatch Office or Police/Fire Chief;
C. Communicate alarm notifications to the city in a manner and form determined by the
Police/Fire Chief; and
D. On the first day of each calendar month provide to the Police/Fire Chief a report which
contains the name, address, telephone number, and date of activation of all current subscribers
within the City.
Section 13.1005. New Installations.
Newly installed alarms on sites which have not previously had an alarm system shall have a 30-
day grace period. During the first 30 days the system is in operation, false alarms will not count
toward those which result in fees being charged for excessive false signals.
Section 13.1006. Manual Reset Required.
A. A person in control of a local alarm or an alarm system that causes an alarm notification to be
sent directly to the city shall adjust the mechanism or cause the mechanism to be adjusted so that,
upon activation, the system will not transmit another alarm signal without first being manually
B. Each alarm notification shall be treated as a false alarm, only if the appropriate agency of the
City has responded within thirty (30) minutes of the alarm notification and the agency has
determined from an inspection of the interior or exterior of the premises that the alarm was false.
Section 13.1007. Reporting of Alarm Signals.
A permit holder or person in control of an alarm system shall not allow alarm signals to be
reported through a relaying intermediary that does not comply with the requirements of this
chapter and any rules and regulations promulgated by the Police/Fire Chief or designee or that is
not licensed by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies, or the
Texas Commission on Fire Protection, as the case may be.
Section 13.1008. Reinstatement of Permit.
A person whose alarm permit has not been renewed after thirty (30) days notice by the City may
be issued a new permit if the person:
A. Submits an updated application and pays a reinstatement fee, established by resolution of the
B. Pays or otherwise resolves all citations in municipal court issued to the person under this
C. Pays all outstanding late fees and/or service fees assessed under this chapter for which a bill
has been issued; and
D. Submits documentation to the Police/Fire Chief stating that the permit holder had performed
all necessary repairs or adjustments required by the City, and has complied with all provisions of
Section 13.1009. System Performance Reviews.
If there is reason to believe that an alarm system is not being used or maintained in a manner that
ensures proper operation and suppresses false alarms, the Police and/or the Fire Chief may
require a conference with an alarm permit holder and the alarm company responsible for
maintenance of the alarm system to review the circumstances of each false alarm.
Section 13.1010. Automatic Dialing Device.
It is unlawful for any person to program an automatic dialing device to select a primary
telephone line belonging to the city, and it is unlawful for an alarm user to fail to disconnect or
reprogram an automatic dialing device which is programmed to select a primary telephone line
belonging to the city within 12 hours of receipt of written notice from the Police/Fire Chief.
Section 13.1011. Confidentiality.
All information submitted in compliance with this chapter shall be deemed confidential and not
subject to public disclosure unless required by law.
Section 13.1012. Appeal of Notice of Restitution Due.
A. The alarm user may appeal to the Police or Fire Chief, as appropriate, his or her decision in
writing within 14 days, who shall conduct an investigation within a reasonable time. Within 30
days of the investigation, and after consideration of the evidence, the Chief will render a decision
in writing. The Chief shall then notify the alarm user of the decision and advise the alarm user of
the right to appeal to the City Administrator.
B. In the event the alarm user desires to appeal the Chief's decision to the City Administrator,
notice must be given in writing to the City Administrator within 14 days of the Chief's decision.
The City Secretary will place the matter before the City Administrator and notify the alarm user
of the date and time of the meeting when the appeal will be heard.
C. The City Administrator will render his or her decision in writing, which shall be final. In the
event the alarm user fails to appear at the hearing before the City Administrator, he or she will be
deemed to have waived his or her right to appeal and no other recourse will be available to the
Section 13.1013. Penalty.
A. Any person, firm or corporation that violates any of the provisions or terms of this chapter
shall be subject to penalty and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed
B. An offense committed before the effective date of the ordinance codified herein is governed
by prior law and the Code of Ordinances of the City of Crockett, as amended, in effect when the
offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for this purpose.
SECTION 3: Severability.
The provisions of this Ordinance are declared to be severable, and if any section, sentence,
clause or phrase of this Ordinance shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional,
such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections, sentences, clauses or phrases
of this Ordinance, but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this
Ordinance shall stand notwithstanding the invalidity of any part.
SECTION 4: Repealing Clause
All Ordinances, or parts of Ordinances, inconsistent or in conflict with the provisions of this
Ordinance are hereby repealed.
SECTION 5: Effective Date.
A descriptive caption of this Ordinance shall be published two (2) times in the Houston County
Courier, the official newspaper of the City of Crockett, within fourteen (14) days after the date of
passage thereof, and said Ordinance shall become effective October 1 , 2011.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 29th day of August, 2011 at a regular meeting of the City Council
of the City of Crockett, Texas.
ATTEST: WILLIAM R. PEMBERTON,
CITY OF CROCKETT
BY: WAYNE MASK,