Time to Turn Back the Clocks and Change the Batteries (In Your Smoke Alarm)
It’s that time of year again — time to fall back.
Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. the first Sunday in November.
This year, that’s November 6th.
On that date, just about everybody turns their clocks and watches back one hour.
Why not everybody?
Because Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands don’t observe daylight saving time.
They never turned their clocks and watches forward back in the spring.
So they don’t have to turn them back now.
Daylight saving time is meant for those spring and summer days when the sun rises way before most people get up.
The goal is to shift the daylight hours to times when more people are awake.
But in the fall, the days get shorter and shorter.
And by winter, the sun rises late anyway.
So we don’t need daylight saving time in the winter.
If daylight saving time were to continue all year round, the sun would rise so late you’d probably be waiting in the dark at your bus stop every morning the entire winter.
At the same time you turn back your clocks, fire officials want you and your parents to do something else that’s very important: change the batteries in your smoke alarm and your carbon monoxide detector.
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, odorless, colorless gas.
You can’t see it.
And you can’t smell it.
So if your smoke alarm and your carbon monoxide detector don’t go off when they’re supposed to, you might pass out and never wake up.
“What we have come to learn is that it’s mostly the smoke and poisonous gases that are contained in smoke that kill people in fires,” said Captain William Steenbergh of the Arlington, New York, Fire Department, in an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal.
And if your carbon monoxide detector is five years old, it’s time to get a new one, experts say.
“Make sure (it’s) maintained,” said Jamestown, North Dakota, fire chief Jim Reuther, in an interview with the Jamestown Sun newspaper. “Carbon monoxide detectors are just as important as a smoke detector.”