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Daylight Saving Time Ends This Sunday Morning. Time To Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery!
Friday, November 4, 2016

Time to “Fall Back” Means It’s Time to Turn Back the Clocks and Change Your Smoke Alarm Battery!

Daylight saving time, or DST, is the period of the year when clocks are moved one hour ahead. In the United States, this has the effect of creating more sunlit hours in the evening during months when the weather is the warmest. We advance our clocks ahead one hour at the beginning of DST, and move them back one hour ("spring forward, fall back") when we return to standard time (ST). The transition from ST to DST has the effect of moving one hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. The transition from DST to ST effectively moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning.

DST was formally introduced in the United States in 1918. Today, most of the country and its territories observe DST. However, DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the state of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation, which does observe DST).

Credit for Daylight Saving Time belongs to Benjamin Franklin, who first suggested the idea in 1784. The idea was revived in 1907, when William Willett, an Englishman, proposed a similar system in the pamphlet The Waste of Daylight.

The Germans were the first to officially adopt the light-extending system in 1915 as a fuel-saving measure during World War I. The British switched one year later, and the United States followed in 1918, when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, which established our time zones. This experiment lasted only until 1920, when the law was repealed due to opposition from dairy farmers (cows don’t pay attention to clocks).

During World War II, Daylight Saving Time was imposed once again (this time year-round) to save fuel. Since then, Daylight Saving Time has been used on and off, with different start and end dates. Currently, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November.

Whether you observe DST, or not, one thing fire departments across the nation recommend is to change the batteries in your smoke alarms on the dates set as “Spring Forward” or “Fall Back.”  Newer model smoke alarms have “sealed” battery technology, and are advertised to offer a ten year battery life.  Many of us have older style alarms that house a 9 volt battery.  If you have this type of alarm, replace the battery each time the time changes.  These older model smoke alarms should also be replaced in their entirety every ten years.  You should always check your smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.

If it affects you, be sure to move your clock BACK at 2am (or prior to going to sleep) this Saturday night, November 5/Sunday morning, November 6 2016.  Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!!

For more information, contact us at the Salisbury Fire Department at or visit the NIST website at:

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