In most of the United States, Daylight Saving Time begins on the 2nd Sunday in March and reverts to Standard Time the first Sunday in November.  So, mark November 6th on your calendar to change your clocks!  Every year, it’s  “Spring Forward” and “Fall Backward.”   The official hour to change your clock is 2 a.m. Sunday, November 6th.  Most of us go ahead and change it before we go to bed.   We will “get back” the hour we lost in the spring, but sometimes, adjustments to the change of one hour can make a big difference in disrupting our habits.  Some parents may want to make a few modifications for their youngsters a day or two before Sunday.  Putting them to bed a little later for a couple of nights might help ease them into the new time.    

Let’s Not Forget About Safety

To ensure that we don’t “fall backward” on safety, this marks an excellent time to do a home safety evaluation.  The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms be checked once a year.  Their figures show that around ninety per cent of homes in the United States have smoke alarms; however one-third of those are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.  They also recommend that smoke alarms be replaced after 10 years.  Some newer types of alarms have remote controls, making it easier than ever to check them.  Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be:

  •        Installed on every level of the home, and in sleeping areas
  •        Tested once a month
  •        Equipped with new batteries annually 

Also, keep a fire extinguisher handy, and have a fire escape plan for every member of the family.  While you are doing your home safety evaluation, also ensure that your door locks function properly, and keep your home locked.  It’s also a good idea to be sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit. 

Studies have shown an increase in accidents happen at both the beginning and ending of Daylight Saving Time.  During the beginning of the fall change, there has been an increase in pedestrian accidents and traffic accidents.  Drivers may be sleepy, while getting used to that difference in one hour; it’s harder sometimes to fall asleep an hour earlier than we are used to.  We all must be more safety-minded when we know that there are students walking or riding to school, and walking to their school bus stop.  Then, it will become dark earlier, so that’s another time that drivers should be extremely careful when returning home from work or shopping. 

An interesting fact:  The Navajo Nation participates in the DST policy, even in Arizona, (which is not in that time zone) due to its large size and location in three states.  So, if you live in the Central Time Zone location, be sure you change your clocks, and check your monitors, and start getting ready for colder weather.  It seems these time changes come along more often than ever!