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Warm weather means gatherings outdoor with friends and open household windows – a combination that can lead to frayed neighbor nerves.

Residents are reminded that Dearborn’s noise ordinance sets lower sound limits between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The ordinance spells out acceptable decibel levels for different types of noise in different locations for different times of day.  For example, industrial and commercial areas may be louder than residential areas. 

The daytime limit in residential areas is 70.

The lowest limits are for continuous noise in a residential area at night.  That number is 45 decibels, about the level of a quiet conversation.

Online apps are available that allow people to use their phone or tablet to measure sound levels.  While the apps are not completely accurate, they can give residents a better idea of whether a violation is occurring before they call police, said Cpl. Chris Brayman.

Even then, residents need to be aware that other background, or ambient noise, could make the reading higher than whatever noise the neighbor is making.

If residents want an officer to investigate, they can call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 313-943-2241.

Police responding to complaints will bring a decibel reader and take measurements to see if a violation is occurring and can write tickets accordingly.  Officers receive special training to use the meters correctly.