Daylight saving time coming up

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Some people say we should blame Ben Franklin for daylight saving time and that may be true because we’ve read that he favored such sayings as “early to bed and early to rise.”

We’ll let you debate historical tidbits like that one along with justification for the practice of turning our clocks ahead an hour in the spring. Most people we know have argued for years about the benefits of this annual exercise — in terms of energy saved and possible health risks.

Some claim that instead of saving energy, daylight saving time actually results in a net loss, and there are plenty of folks out there who claim that the shift in time can actually impact our health in a negative way.

All we know for sure is that it’s always easier for us to handle the time change in the fall than it is in the spring. Sure, we know it’s only an hour, but losing that extra sleep always makes us feel extra tired for an entire week or more.

And we’re not alone. A visit to the water cooler or coffee bar is all it takes to prove that one of the downsides of daylight saving time is getting to hear a steady stream of complaints.

At least we finally learned which direction to change our clocks, thanks to that ground-breaking adage, “spring forward, fall back,” so we no longer arrive at our destination an hour late on Sunday.

Yes, we’ve actually known that to happen, although it was a few years ago. Thanks to the steady barrage of reminders about the time change via the Internet on myriad electronic devices and the good-old evening news, it’s getting tougher to use daylight saving time as an excuse for missing an appointment.

We know that on Sunday we will need to advance our clocks an hour. Daylight saving time 2014 officially begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, which means that most of us will change our clocks tonight.

Then, when we finally grow accustomed to living on the new time schedule, fall will arrive and we will need to turn our clocks back in the other direction.

One of few positive things that occurs to us as we contemplate losing that hour of sleep tonight is the annual reminder from area fire departments that the start of daylight saving time should serve as a reminder to change the batteries in our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Making sure that these safety devices have a fresh battery is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce risk to you and your family. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

In addition to installing new batteries twice a year (when you change all those clocks), fire officials also recommend testing your alarms monthly and changing out alarms every 10 years.

We appreciate the reminder from firefighters and we plan to change the batteries in every safety device.

You should do the same — the cost is nominal when you consider the security those alarms provide and it doesn’t take all that long to change a few batteries.


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