DST Ends Sunday – What Else to Do Besides Change the Clocks
It's the weekend many dread: the end of Daylight Saving Time.
The twice-a-year ritual officially happens at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, when clocks get moved back an hour until spring.
Besides the clock change, it's also a good time to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, according to East Kingston Fire Chief Ed Warren. He offered some suggestions from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month, pressing the test button to ensure the alarm functions properly.
- Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps to warn that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
- Alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. When you change your clocks, also replace regular batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
- Smoke alarms have a shelf life of 10 years. Be sure to replace them after 10 years of use.
- CO alarms should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Smoke alarms should be installed in each room of the house. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom or sleeping area, on every story of the home, and in other locations required by standards, codes, or laws.
- Make sure alarms interconnect, so that when one alarm sounds, they all do.
Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine added to the list, creating and practicing a home escape plan.
“In the average house fire, you could have less than three minutes to escape after the smoke alarm activates,” Davine said in a statement. “Creating and practicing a home escape plan that includes two routes out will help you make the most of that precious time to get outside before poisonous gases and heat make escape impossible.”
“Working smoke alarms and a practiced home escape plan are among the most fundamental and important tools for surviving a fire,” Hyannis Fire Chief Peter J. Burke, Jr, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, said. “Be sure everyone in the home knows what to do and where to go when the alarm sounds, including young children, older adults, and persons with disabilities.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests checking your vehicle's VIN number on their website for recalls at nhtsa.gov/recalls.
As for efforts to keeping Daylight Saving Time in effect all year, it does not look promising. A bill proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio nicknamed the Sunshine Protection Act was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
In a USA Today column, Rubio cited a disruption in sleep, increases in car crashes, strokes, and depression as health reasons to stick with Daylight Savings Time. His bill would also give states the option to continue the time changes.
"It’s clear that fall back and spring forward have outlived their purpose. I hope we can pass the Sunshine Protection Act through both houses of Congress this year − because we could all use a bit more common sense in this country," Rubio wrote in a USA Today column.
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Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander