How to stop an annoying buzzer next door?
June 23, 2008 2:19 PM   Subscribe

What can I do about an obnoxious parking lot buzzer in the building next door?

My apartment is a first floor place on an intersection in Philly. About 50 yards down the block from where my bedroom windows are located, there is the exit gate for the covered parking lot of a large high-rise apartment complex. This gate has an automatic system that opens from the inside (it is only 1-way), presumably with a key card or something.

My problem is that attached to this gate is a very loud and very obnoxious warning buzzer (for pedestrians, i assume, although my block isn't that busy) that goes off so long at the gate is opening, opened, or closing. This amounts to about 30 seconds of loud buzzing - think an elementary school fire alarm - for each car that exits. As this is a big apartment complex, cars are exiting the parking lot at almost all hours of the day.

This buzzer is seriously driving me crazy! I am a pretty insensitive person to city noise, but the irregularity (and yet constant, at all hours) and piercing quality of this alarm buzzer is really horrendous. It keeps me up at night, it wakes me super early in the morning, I really can't stand it!

What can I do? Closing the windows helps a little, but I'm too cheap for A/C, and its just too hot to not keep them open. Isn't this kind of obnoxious noise "disturbing the peace" or something?
posted by i less than three nsima to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Contact that building's management and ask whether the volume can be adjusted. Feel free to mention that many people at your area have commented on this and that you're all hoping the building will address the situation on its own as a courtesy to its neighbors. Send the letter certified mail.

That's at least a pretty good first step.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 2:26 PM on June 23, 2008

posted by R. Mutt at 3:15 PM on June 23, 2008

All ethics aside, I would just figure out where the speaker is, then go out there late at night and plug it with putty. Except for token efforts, noise really isn't regarded as a serious policy/environmental/health issue in the US and the deck is usually stacked against you trying to work with it through legal means..
posted by crapmatic at 5:13 PM on June 23, 2008

then go out there late at night and plug it with putty.

Big buildings often have security cameras at entrance / exit points...
posted by R. Mutt at 5:25 PM on June 23, 2008

I wouldn't use putty - I would wear a hoody and use foam insulation in a can and get in there and "insulate" the buzzer.

(Crooks use this ploy to help silence burglar/bank alarms.)
posted by cinemafiend at 7:48 PM on June 23, 2008

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