Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Are you prepared to enter the Dark Days of Winter?  Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 6 at 2 AM. Remember to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed on Saturday, November 5, else you’ll miss out on that extra hour of sleep! 

In addition to changing your clocks, we’d like to remind you that this is also the perfect time to check your smoke detector batteries and change them if necessary. Smoke detectors that run on 9 volt batteries or hard wired smoke detectors with battery backups need to be changed annually to ensure they will work when you need them. Please avoid tossing the used batteries in the garbage but dispose of the batteries properly by turning in at a Recycling Center near you.

Some Facts About Smoke Detectors:
  • Smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in saving lives and reducing fire deaths and injuries.
  • Having a working smoke detector cuts the risk of dying in a home fire by 40-50%.
  • Numbers of homes with smoke detectors that do not work outnumber homes without smoke detectors at all.
  • Nearly half of all smoke detectors do not work due to missing or dead batteries.

Some Additional Facts About DST:

Ancient Civilizations adjusted their schedules based on available sunlight.  Later in history, schedules instead became standardized based on time keeping devices where time did not falter.  It was Benjamin Franklin who is attributed to resurrecting the idea of adjusting time in a light-hearted 1784 satire. Although Franklin's facetious suggestion was simply that people should get up earlier in summer, he is often erroneously attributed as the inventor of DST.  Adoption of Standard Time did not materialize in the United States until November 18, 1883, before then time keeping was a local matter.  

Modern DST was first proposed by New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson, although many publications incorrectly credit William Willett of the idea.  Germany led the way in adopting the modern DST during World War I on April 30th, 1916 as a measure to save on coal consumption during war time.   The U.S. Congress originally enacted DST in 1918 but then repealed the act in 1919 and it was not until the Uniform TimeAct of 1966 that provided standardization in the dates of beginning and end of daylight time in the U.S. but allowed for local exemptions from its observance.  

The law as it was originally written required states that observe DST to begin it at 02:00 local time on the last Sunday in April and to end it at 02:00 local time on the last Sunday in October. The law was later amended in 1986 to move the uniform start date for DST to the first Sunday in April (effective 1987). The latest amendment, part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, extends DST by four or five weeks by moving the uniform start date for DST to the second Sunday in March and the end date to the first Sunday in November (effective 2007). However, the Department of Energy is required to report to Congress the impact of the DST extension by December 1, 2007 (nine months after the statute took effect) which the department has not done and the report is now grossly overdue. If the DST extension failed to save energy, Congress may revert back to the old schedule set in 1986!  And believe it or not, there is actually an organization (standardtime.com) who has been attempting to eliminate Day Light Saving Time altogether since 1998!  

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