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Fall Back an Hour Sunday—and Check Those Smoke Detectors

Daylight Saving Time ends 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.

A reminder to turn your clocks back one hour as Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 a.m.

And don’t forget the longstanding recommendation by safety groups to also change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors—a biannual check conveniently performed when you turn your clocks back or ahead.

As much as 60 percent of residential fire-related deaths are estimated to occur in homes where smoke alarms are not working or are not in place, according to Fire officials.

The officials recommend a smoke alarm with good batteries in all sleeping areas, one outside each bedroom and on each level of a home. Alarms should be mounted high on walls, four inches to a foot away from the ceiling—or on ceilings, at least four inches from the nearest wall. On pitched ceilings, the alarms should be installed at least four inches from the highest point.

Smoke detectors should not be kept near windows, doors or ducts where
drafts could interfere with their operation, officials said. Smoke alarms have a life span of about 10 years and have the date stamped on the back, fire officials said.

And while you’re at it, enjoy this bit of Daylight Saving Time trivia:

• The correct term is not Daylight “Savings” Time but Daylight Saving Time. “Savings” is a common colloquialism that’s incorrect because the word refers specifically to money that is not used—never mind the idea that time is money.

• There’s such a thing as “extended” Daylight Saving Time, which refers to the fact that until 2005 clocks were turned back on the last Sunday of October. In that year, reports the New York Times, the U.S. Congress inserted a clause into the U.S. Energy Policy Act, extending Daylight Saving Time until the first Sunday of November in the hope of saving an extra week of energy. (In spring, correspondingly, clocks will be set ahead on the second Sunday in March instead of the first Sunday in April.)

• California sought U.S. Congress approval in 2001 to be allowed to scrap Daylight Saving Time and remain on Standard Time because, the state argued, energy savings from Daylight Saving Time were negligible. But the timing of California’s request coincided with the September 11 attacks—and Congress has not yet acted upon the request, reports the Huffington Post, quoting the California Energy Commission.

• On hearing about Daylight Saving Time, according to QuoteGarden.com, an old Native American is said to have remarked: “Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.” 

• According to Patch reader Steve Gerow, in Tucson, AZ, many years ago he expressed surprise that the state didn't have Daylight Savings Time. “This was in June, already 106 degrees outside,” Gerow told Patch in a comment in 2011, adding: “The guy I was talking to at the motel said, ‘What the hell do we need another hour of daylight for?’”

—City News Service contributed to this article.

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