Covid-19: Please be a good neighbour
Many people are now forced to work from home or are unable to leave the house due to Covid-19. For those that do not usually spend much time at home this can take some adjustment. The new restrictions have changed people’s lives dramatically, adding extra pressure to home life such as being distracted by family life, frustrated by slow WiFi, annoyed at not being able to see friends and colleagues, not to mention the obvious anxiety over Covid-19.
The increase in numbers of people at home will inevitably lead to an increase in noise levels which may impact on neighbours who may be working, carrying out hobbies, caring for someone and of course those who are unwell or do not usually leave the house very often.
The effects of noise on physical and mental health are well documented yet often overlooked. Unwanted noise is known to trigger the stress hormones in our bodies and hence can be linked with many illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke, not to mention the more obvious issues such as inability to concentrate and/or relax.
Our Environmental Health Team has a statutory duty to investigate noise complaints. This service remains available to residents and, whilst methods of working have changed in accordance with safety guidelines, it is still operating.
If you are concerned about noise, please contact us.
- Consider the volume of any amplification equipment. If it can be heard beyond the boundary of your home/garden, it may be too loud and need to be turned down. Think also about how sound might travel through structures into adjoining houses/flats.
- Position any speakers indoors, pointing away from neighbouring properties.
- Use headphones where possible.
- Don’t put speakers on party walls or floors.
- Don't stand outside making noise on balconies or in gardens late at night.
- Is the work noisy? Keep noisy work to a minimum and think about the hours you are undertaking this work. Try not to do this work late at night
- Resist the temptation to have the radio on outside or in an empty room with the windows open whilst you are carrying on building work
- Will the work cause any other issues such as dust problems? If outside please think about the wind direction and try to minimise dust by damping down before you sweep where possible
- Is the work on shared walls where neighbours can hear? Consider the time of day when doing this work
- Call neighbours and tell them about the work and how long for so they will be aware and can discuss any concerns they may have (they may be on night shifts)
Can I have a Bonfire?
We ask householders to be considerate and think about what you are burning, when you are burning it and what effect it might have on the neighbourhood.
A break in the weather may well be an opportunity to get outside and do some gardening, but it is also an opportunity for others to get some fresh air in their gardens too, so please do not use it as an opportunity to light a fire unless you have considered the following:
- Under the current movement restrictions, please do not light bonfires on days during nice weather, when others might be able to get out of their homes for some fresh air.
- If you are sure you can light a fire without having any negative effects on neighbours, then only burn dry material, do not burn damp material, which is more liable to smoulder and produce more and thicker smoke.
- Never burn household rubbish or anything containing plastic, foam or paint - this not only creates an unpleasant smell but also produces a range of poisonous compounds. Check which bins will be emptied and when and save your waste for the next appropriate kerbside collections.
- If your green waste collection has been suspended, think about composting. If you can’t compost, try to reduce the green waste you are producing – delay pruning, cutting or trimming grass, trees and shrubs.
- Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - smoke hangs in the air on damp still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbour's gardens and across roads.
- Never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder. When it is finished, rake out the ashes and douse with water if necessary.
More on nuisance caused by noise, smoke and rubbish
Dogs may bark because they are lonely. Constant barking or whining can be disturbing to your neighbours. Please don’t leave dogs unattended if they are liable to bark. If they do bark, do something about it without having to be asked or told. Remember. The neighbours can’t pop around to ask you themselves. More on dog control