Clock-setting ritual renews this weekend

by Sean Dunlap

If you’re more than a little groggy on Sunday morning, there’s probably nothing wrong with your overall health.

Instead, it’s your body getting accustomed to the spring ritual of setting your clocks ahead by one hour to mark the beginning of Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m.

For those not happy with the latest time change, one needs look no further than Franklin County’s historic namesake — Benjamin Franklin — who, in 1784, drafted a satirical letter to The Journal of Paris publication about the matter.

The U.S. statesman suggested waking up an hour earlier in conjunction with the approaching summer months to economize candle usage and thus leading to considerable savings.

In reality, Daylight Saving Time was first implemented in this country with the passage of the Standard Time Act of 1918, a war-time measure for seven months during World War I in the interest of adding more daylight hours to conserve energy resources.

While the merits of continuing Daylight Saving Time continue to be debated nationally, the time change can also be a force for good — especially when considering the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in homes and businesses.

Franklin County Emergency Management-Homeland Security Director Mark Thornton said the annual time changes should serve as a reminder to test these potentially life-saving devices.

“Let Daylight Saving Time in March and the start of Standard Time in November serve as a reminder to change the batteries in your detectors because a few minutes could save your life,” Thornton said.

He noted, in terms of fire safety, changing clocks and testing those devices go hand-in-hand.

“These days, as many clocks spring forward automatically, it’s especially important for this reminder to reach every citizen,” Thornton went on to say.

“Also, consider the age of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If any of your devices are more than 10 years old, it’s a good idea to upgrade them sooner rather than later.”

Thornton said many of the latest detection devices have 10-year, sealed batteries that do not require replacement of the power source on a regular basis.

“Even with this advancement, people are still urged to press the test button on their alarms — at least once every month and around the twice-annual time changes,” he continued.

“It is a proven fact that these alarms save lives. Make sure your family and co-workers are protected by having these devices in your home and business and that the units are in working order at all times.”