Keeping the noise down on Noise Action Day

Shhhhhhh….Merton Council backed National Noise Action Day, on Wednesday 4 June 2003, by giving tips to residents on how to reduce noise.

Noise can cause disruption and distress for everyone at home, at leisure and at work. Incompatible lifestyles and an increasing expectation of quiet are often the cause of complaint and aggravation. Much of this could be avoided if people were more thoughtful in relation to noisy activities.

The Council urged residents to consider the noise they are making and the effect it has on others. To mark the day Merton put together the following tips to help people reduce their impact on others. They also distributed leaflets and stickers to residents in Merton Link.

· Turn it down!
The noise from TVs, computers, hi-fis and car stereos are all potential causes of nuisance. Residents are advised to turn down the volume, lower the bass and be conscious of the time they are playing music as people may be trying to sleep. Other tips include moving speakers away from the wall if it is adjacent to a neighbour and using headphones to listen to loud music.

· Tread carefully…
Another cause of noise is due to the type of flooring in a home. Hard floors, either stripped or laminates, are particularly noisy, especially when directly above someone else’s home. In order to reduce the noise residents are advised to take off shoes, replace or cover the floor with a softer material and if laying a laminate floor for the first time, to ensure that the floor is laid on to an isolating/insulating layer.

· What time do you call this???
Residents should be considerate of their neighbours by not using power tools, lawn mowers, hammers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, etc. either late at night or early in the morning. It will usually be appreciated if people notify their neighbours if they have a noisy job to do, as this may give them an opportunity to be elsewhere at the time. When buying new appliances always check the noise rating, as a guide, three decibels difference is just noticeable but a 10 decibel difference would be either twice or half as loud.

· Don’t cause alarm
The continuous sounding of an alarm is another noise irritation. To prevent this happening with house alarms residents should ensure neighbours, the local police and the Council, have details of the key holders, so if the alarm sounds whilst they are away it can be dealt with quickly. They should make sure alarms have an automatic 20-minute cut off and if it is overly sensitive or defective should not us