The importance of reducing noise
It's hard to escape noise. For city dwellers, external noise from traffic, local businesses and neighbours is a fact of life, while those living in more rural locations are likely to regularly hear sounds like farm equipment and animals.
While all of these sounds are part of everyday life and contribute to the local atmosphere, we also want to prevent too much noise from penetrating into our homes. After all, too much noise in the wrong place and at the wrong time can be disruptive, annoying and upsetting.
Government research published in January 2015 found that 48 per cent of those surveyed felt that their home life was spoiled by noise. What's more, one-fifth of people are kept awake by noise at night and many people have complained about the noise to their local authorities.
The problem with noise
According to Noise Action, noise disturbance happens because people forget that others are sleeping - or they don't realise they're creating a disturbance at all. They point out some common sources of noise, which include:
- Loud music
- Loud television
- Voices - both indoors and outside
- Slamming doors
- Walking on hard flooring
- Noise from licensed premises
- Noisy pets (barking dogs in particular)
- Household appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and refrigerators
Dealing with noise
Often, problems with noise can be resolved by increasing awareness and communication.
Noise Action explains that many people have different working, waking and sleeping patterns. With many people working late nights or early mornings, we don't always know when our neighbours work or sleep.
This means that communication and awareness are both essential when dealing with noise - and we should also take steps to reduce the disturbance that we may cause to our neighbours.
The installation of acoustic insulation can also help to reduce noise levels - and there are many different products to help make the world a quieter place - whether you want to minimise the amount of sound that travels between flats, make footsteps quieter or prevent loud music from a bar disturbing residential neighbours.