All of us are sometimes bothered by noise - usually other people's noise. It can annoy us, irritate us, disturb our peace and quiet and our sleep. The problems caused by noise depend on loudness, how long it lasts, how often it occurs. All of us often make noise which affects others, and we often do not realise the effect that has. A lot of this noise can be avoided.
People living adjacent, above or below can be more affected because of party walls, floors and ceilings, than by neighbours in detached houses. Even basic precautions such as closing your doors and windows (quietly) can reduce noise levels significantly.
Here is a list of simple measures you can take to help you to avoid causing noise disturbance to your neighbours.
Radios, TVs, Stereos
Keep the volume as low as possible, especially late at night. Use headphones where possible.
When not using headphones the bass control should be set at a low level as the 'bass beat' can be particularly irritating.
Use of Domestic Appliances
- Site fridges, freezers, washing machines and loudspeakers well away from party walls.
- Stand washing machines/spin dryers on a solid floor or place on a carpet/rubber mat to reduce vibration.
- Do noisy jobs or operate noisy equipment such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners during the day, if they are likely to be heard by your neighbours.
- Mow the lawn and use garden power tools at a reasonable time - not early morning or late evening.
- If people live below you, fit carpet and underlay.
- Avoid fitting speakers to party walls.
- Close doors gently - don't slam them.
Household Repairs and Improvement
- Carry out noisier operations during the day, keeping the evening for less noisy work, such as painting and decorating.
- Don't leave DIY equipment running - switch it off when not immediately required. Hired equipment, eg mixers, generators, are often more powerful than DIY versions and can cause more noise problems. These therefore require more care and consideration in use.
- Complete the work as quickly as possible - don't let it drag on for months.
- Let your neighbours know beforehand if you are carrying out potentially noisy operations, such as using power equipment or working on party walls or floors. Use hand tools if possible.
- Don't rev the engine excessively.
- Close doors quietly, particularly at night.
- Use car horns only for emergencies.
- Keep music levels down and keep windows closed.
- Drive quietly in built-up areas - don't drive/brake fiercely.
Repairs to Vehicles
- If possible, carry out work in a garage.
- Carry out necessary noisy operations during the day and avoid Sundays.
- Don't rev the engine for long periods.
- Don't repair anyone else's car.
- Don't let your dog bark or whine for long periods or leave it alone.
- Keep your dog indoors if it barks constantly when unattended or disturbed. If your dog still barks when indoors make arrangements to leave it with a neighbour or friend or get someone to call in - leave its favourite toy or put the radio on at very low volume.
- If you play a musical instrument do not practice early in the morning or during the late evening/night.
- If the instrument has an amplifier turn the volume down or preferably use personal headphones.
Late Night Revellers
- If you are having a party or barbecue remember the neighbours - let them know beforehand or, better still, invite them round.
- Keep the music turned down low.
- Go home quietly.
- Do not stand around in groups outside pubs, clubs or residential areas.
- If you are playing music try to keep it at a level that cannot be heard outside your own land.
- If children are playing outside ensure they do not cause excessive disturbance, especially by throwing/ kicking balls against the walls of neighbouring properties.
- If you have a marquee remember that the material is very light and will not prevent noise escaping.
- When buying or hiring domestic appliances or DIY equipment buy the quietest equipment available - look for information about noise levels on labels.
- People (particularly the elderly and children) need a rest from noise - especially during the evening and at weekends. We suggest that unavoidable noisy activities are carried out between:
- 8.00 am - 7.00 pm weekdays and Saturday
- Not at all on Sunday's and Bank Holiday's