By Kristine Favreau
The Cove Herald
If any of the clocks in your house jumped ahead over the weekend, you aren’t alone. Across the country, clocks with internal calendars, which include some computers, alarm clocks and other electronics that predate 2005 did the same. Thanks to programming that was installed prior to Congress changing the rules regarding Daylight Saving Time, many electronics will continue to change a week early. Manufacturers began programming the new dates into electronics, but have no way to reset those programmed prior to 2005.
Most time-dependent products, such as cell-phones, get their time and date from a network. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, it’s devices that aren’t connected to a wired or wireless network — including many wrist watches, alarm clocks and VCRs — that need extra attention. These often are the devices that need to be reset after a power outage. If the product was made before August 2005 and it uses an internal calendar, owners should disable the daylight saving time feature and/or change the time manually, according to the group.
Older computer systems may also be affected, but the problem can be easily fixed. Microsoft has a page dedicated to helping users download the needed patch to correct the problems.
Beginning in 2007, most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.
Daylight Saving Time is four weeks longer than last year with the passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005. The Act, which extends Daylight Saving Time by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November, is expected to save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.
With its biannual occurrence, Daylight Saving Time changes are the perfect time to change the clocks in your smoke detectors, as encouraged by the Copperas Cove Fire Department. According to City of Copperas Cove Public Information Officer Kelly Dix, fire deaths peak in winter months, December through February. Smoking materials (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) and poorly installed, poorly maintained or misused portable or area heating equipment are leading causes of fatal home fires.
Tragically, many people mistakenly believe they’d be awakened by the smell of smoke in time to escape. Clinical experiments have found that the sense of smell actually lessens when people are asleep. Therefore, when smoke enters a bedroom, it does not always awaken the individual. In addition, smoke disorients people and dulls their senses, making it less likely that other cues, such as cries for help, will awaken them. This is why working home smoke alarms are so important.
The Copperas Cove Fire Department will help citizens with testing and battery replacement in home smoke detectors. The Copperas Cove Fire Department offers free smoke detectors and batteries to those citizens that need them. Please contact the fire department at 547-2091 for more information.
Contact Kristine Favreau at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 547-3535