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Hazardous noise

In living environments, noise is caused by traffic, industrial plants, and construction sites, for example. Various technical appliances and the activities carried out within the building can cause noise inside buildings.

Based on the Health Protection Act, the living environment monitoring service can intervene in instances of noise disturbances caused by technical appliances or insufficient sound-proofing inside of apartments.

Noise caused by the users of the facilities, such as maintaining a disruptive lifestyle in an apartment, is a matter related to maintenance of order, and related problems can be resolved by contacting the housing company, or as a last resort, the police.

Noise from technical appliances

Technical appliances which can cause noise disturbances include ventilation systems, cooling devices, lifts, plumbing fixtures, the machines in laundry rooms, and transformer substations.


Poor sound-proofing in structures may lead noises caused by normal everyday life to be carried between apartments in a disruptive manner. The sound-proofing in old buildings cannot be expected to meet the current construction regulations.

If, for example, normal speech is carried between apartments at a sufficient level as to be comprehensible, the sound-proofing may be poor enough to be considered a health hazard. Noise disturbances may also be caused by excessively loud impact sounds.

Insufficient sound-proofing can be verified through measurements of air and impact sound insulation. The Urban Environment Division's Environment services does not perform such measurements.

Noise caused by operators

Some operators may cause noise disturbance in neighbouring apartments and the environment. The most typical cases in which the Environment services is contacted are related to the music from restaurants, deliveries to food stores, and various technical appliances.

Limits for taking action

In cases of noise disturbance in apartments, the City of Helsinki Environment services applies the limits for taking action proposed in the Decree on Housing Health (no. 545 of 2015), issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

What can the resident do?

An individual suffering from noise disturbance must first notify the building manager, and if possible, the party causing the disturbance. If the noise disturbance cannot be stopped or decreased to a sufficient level, and if it is assessed as posing a health hazard, the injured party can contact the Environment services. 

In order to enable further settlement of the noise disturbance, the resident should make as accurate observations on the noise disturbance as possible, such as the cause, strength, type, and time of the noise.

06.12.2019 18:26