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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Change clocks, smoke detector batteries this weekend

  • It's time to switch clocks back an hour to end Daylight Saving Time, and firefighters remind residents to take a few minutes out of that extra hour this weekend to replace batteries in the smoke detectors.
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  • It's time to switch clocks back an hour to end Daylight Saving Time, and firefighters remind residents to take a few minutes out of that extra hour this weekend to replace batteries in the smoke detectors.
    Firefighters say that minute or two can save a life.
    The time change officially occurs at 2 a.m. Sunday, although most people will set their clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night for the shift back to standard time.
    Residents of Hawaii, most of Arizona and some U.S. territories don't have to change their clocks since they do not observe daylight saving time.
    Public safety officials say this is also a good time to put a new battery in the smoke detector, no matter where you live.
    Deputy Shawnee Fire Marshal Rob Rusk says every home should have a working smoke alarm.
    "The fact is, everyone needs a smoke detector," Rusk said.
    Residents are reminded to check their smoke detectors often and change the batteries at least twice each year, with firefighters suggesting the best time to remember is during the spring and fall time change.
    There should be a smoke detector on every level of a home, and most of them need to be close to sleeping areas, he said.
    "Fewer people die when a smoke detector is present and it activates," he said, adding this is also a good to time to practice family fire drills and home escape plans.
    Of those who lost their lives in home-related fires, Rusk said in 85 percent of cases, smoke detectors had either missing or dead batteries.
    Rusk suggests smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years or when they exceed their life cycle; most detectors have a date.
    The Shawnee Fire Department offers free smoke detectors to those who can't afford them, and will even install them free of charge. As part of the program, those needing a smoke detector or battery, or those wanting to donate smoke detectors or funds to purchase them for the program can call Station No. 1, 273-4282.
    Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. local time March 9.

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