Remember: Spring Forward Sunday

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CBNNews.com -- There are three words in the English language that can make many men and women cringe in fear.

The Three Words? Daylight Saving Time

Yes, Daylight Saving Time begins a few weeks earlier this year as ordered by the U.S. Congress.  So at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday, March 9, remember to spring forward. Set all of your clocks forward by one hour Saturday night before you retire or you will be late to church services Sunday morning.

Most of the U.S. will remain under DST until November 2. This will mark a total four-week extension from our regular DST period. The extension is a result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

A study is scheduled to be conducted to see how much energy saving is impacted by the time change. Congress still retains the right to revert to the April 2 to October 30 timetable based upon the report to be submitted by the Secretary of Energy.

Daylight Saving Time is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Arizona. The Navajo nation does participate in DST, even in Arizona. The reason? Tthe Native American nation is so large that members of the tribe are located across three states.

DST in History

Believe it or not, according to the experts, Daylight Saving Time does save energy. U.S. Department of Transportation studies show a small, but significant savings of about one percent each day. The savings come from not using electricity for lighting and other appliances during the evening period.

Daylight Saving Time was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin as early as 1784.  Of course, he was not advocating the turning of the clock.  He was merely suggesting that people get up earlier.  It was not until World War I that the U.S. and other countries adopted DST as a method of conserving fuel and energy in the war against the Axis Powers. Americans set their clocks forward for the first time as a nation on March 31, 1918.

DST & Your Computer

After the 2005 energy law was signed by President Bush, many of the larger corporations were warned that the early advance to DST might alter their computer network operations. Many of these same companies have taken the earlier time switch in stride and have added DST work to their maintenance schedules.

The earlier time change has really now become just a nuisance to many large corporations. Experts say there will be no Y2K.

If you have concerns or questions, Microsoft has set up a Web site for DST Help and Support. At the Microsoft site, they can help everyone from home users to IT professionals.

Check Your Smoke Alarm

Our ritual of the resetting of the clocks is also a great time to check the batteries in the smoke alarms in your house.  This twice-yearly review may also save you the hassle of changing out the battery in the middle of the night when the alarm begins its non-relenting chirp, because the battery is running low.

But simply replacing batteries may not fix the problem.  The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly recommends replacing smoke alarms every ten years. 

Smoke alarm maintenance tips:

-- Change the batteries in smoke alarms every six months or when the low battery signal is heard. 

-- Test your alarms weekly using the units' test buttons to ensure batteries and all alarm functions are working properly. 

-- Never remove the unit's batteries to stop an unwanted alarm or "nuisance" alarm, such as those caused by cooking smoke or burnt toast.  According to the NFPA, half of the deaths in homes equipped with smoke alarms occur because the smoke alarm did not sound - usually when batteries are dead, disconnected or missing. 

-- Replace older smoke alarms after 10 years or in accordance with manufacturer's warranties.

It is also a good time to sit down with your family and go over fire escape plans from your house in the event of such an emergency.

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