LAKE COMO/BELMAR, NJ — Now that clocks were moved forward at 2 a.m. today for Daylight Saving Time, Belmar Fire Marshal Ryan Dullea advises to replace the batteries in your home’s smoke alarms as well.

“Smoke alarms are a key part of your home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly. Smoke alarms save lives,” he said.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that 71 percent of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries,

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Belmar or Lake Como residents with questions about their current smoke detectors or placement of their devices can contact the Belmar Fire Marshal Office at 732-681-3700, ext. 239.

Belmar also offers a home safety inspection program, which is offered free of charge. Call the number above to schedule an evaluation at your residence.

AAA Cautions Springing Forward Can Be Driving Distraction

AAA reminds drivers that the change to Daylight Saving Time on March 10 may create distraction on the roadway and challenges for drivers who lose an hour of sleep.

“Some drivers may suddenly find themselves driving into the rising or setting sun, and there may be more sun glare during commuting hours,” said Robert Sinclair of AAA Northeast. “Drivers will have to spend the next week adjusting to having less sleep and be aware of factors that could make them sleepy behind the wheel.”

Recent research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that drowsy driving is a factor in 10 percent of crashes — a much higher percentage than previously believed.

And as the days grow longer, more children, pedestrians, joggers, walkers and bicyclists will likely be more active outdoors and during peak travel times.

AAA offers these safety tips for motorists:

  • In the morning, watch for pedestrians when backing up in parking lots or driveways. Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible.
  • Leave more following room. When the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing.
  • Watch out for children and others who are outdoors in the lighter evening hours.
  • Remember to yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Do not pass vehicles stopped at crosswalks.

And for pedestrians:

  • Cross only at intersections or crosswalks. Do not jaywalk or cross between parked cars.
  • Avoid walking in traffic where there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. If you have to walk on a road that does not have sidewalks, walk facing traffic.
  • See and be seen. Carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing and/or accessories.
  • Don’t walk and text. If you must use your cell phone, be sure to keep your eyes on traffic and your ears open to make sure you can hear approaching danger.

The History of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time adds one hour to standard time to make better use of daylight and conserve energy. It is observed in more than 70 countries worldwide, although the beginning and end dates vary from country to country. Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not observe daylight saving time.

“Fast Time,” the original name for Daylight Saving Time, was first introduced in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I. Only seven months after the conflict's end, Congress repealed the time change in 1919, although some cities — notably New York, Boston and Chicago — continued to use it. War brought nationwide usage again when Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed year-round Daylight Saving Time in 1942.

For more than two decades — from 1945 to 1966 —there were no uniform rules for Daylight Saving Time. States could start and end daylight saving whenever wanted, thereby causing widespread confusion especially for train and bus schedules, and the broadcast industry. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which set the last Sunday of April as the beginning and the last Sunday of October as the end of Daylight Saving Time.

In 1986, Congress changed the beginning of DST to the first Sunday in April, while the end remained the last Sunday in October. These start and end dates stayed in effect from 1987 to 2006, when the length of Daylight Saving was extended yet again to run from the second Sunday of March until the first Sunday of November.

Editor’s note: Sources for this article included TimeandDate.com and History.com.

 

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