Whether you are for or against the twice a year changing of the clocks, and not too many  people are quick to support readjusting daily routines in the fall and spring, there is no avoiding it.

When I was a young, overnight, part-time employee at a radio station in Elmira, I would stress on the return to Standard Time, adjusting all the clocks in the radio station, and. more importantly figuring out how to put down my hours to make sure I would be paid for working 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. twice in a night!

The conundrum for hourly wage-earners has come around again. 2 a.m. Sunday, most areas of the country return to Standard Time.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Before turning in Saturday night, or, if you like to be precise, at the stroke of two, you'll have to make the rounds of all your watches, clocks, time keeping displays on microwaves, ovens, vehicles to set them back an hour for a repeat of 1 a.m. 

Several people have been asking if this is the last time they are going to have to mumble: “Fall Back” in order to remember what direction to change the clocks in the Autumn as the debate over doing away with the time change seemed to progress toward a decision this year. 

Short answer: Maybe. But, right now, NO!

In March, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved making Daylight Saving Time permanent across the United States in November 2023. But the Sunshine Protection Act, that had bipartisan support in the Senate, still has not gained the needed approval of the House before it would be sent to the President to be signed into law. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 20 states have in favor of making Daylight Saving Time (not Standard Time, which is a whole other debate) permanent. They are:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
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    While we still are in the mindset of changing the clocks this weekend, fire officials take the opportunity in the fall and spring for the time change to point out to people that as long as you have to remember to reset the clocks, it's a convenient reminder to change the batteries in smoke detectors if the devices are the ones that still have replaceable batteries.  Many recently produce smoke and fire alarm devices have closed compartments so the power source cannot be disabled and some systems are hard-wired into the building's power supply.  

    In any case, it is wise to check over alarm units to see if they need replacing. Industry standards suggest the average lifespan of a device is three to five years. Some have a date stamped on them indicating when they should be replaced.  It is also a good idea to clean and vacuum the alarms to keep them clear of dust and cobwebs and test the alarms.  Most safety organizations recommend testing the alarms once a month, however. The routine applies to carbon monoxide detectors as well.  

    Smoke Detector

    Smoke detectors should be installed on all levels of a building and outside the bedrooms in homes.  Other critical areas that should have smoke detectors and alarms are the kitchen and near devices like hot water heaters and furnaces as well as in the garage. 

    The American Red Cross has an ongoing program where smoke alarms are available to be installed, free, in homes by a qualified volunteer who also provides residents with fire prevention and safety tips. 

    You can contact the Southern Tier/Western New York Chapter of the American Red Cross at (607) 785-7207 for information about the "Sound the Alarm, Save a Life" program, both to sign up to receive a device and training or to volunteer to become a part of the program.

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