CHADRON – Tonight is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time as we lose an hour of sleep.
The official changeover occurs at 2 a-m Sunday, but most people adjust their clocks, watches, and appliances with timers before going to bed.
Those who forget the adage “spring forward, fall back” will be an hour late for church, work or other events tomorrow morning.
Fire officials also recommend using the time change to check smoke alarms and replace their batteries as a precaution.
Deputy Nebraska State Fire Marshal Pat Gould says smoke alarms don’t help if they are not in working order and changing batteries twice a year is a simple and cheap way of making sure they’re good.
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Gould says the basic recommendation from fire experts is to replace smoke alarms after a decade of use or if they don’t respond properly to testing.
He says one reason smoke alarms are lifesavers is that most fire-related home fatalities occur when people are asleep, between 10 pm and 6 am.
Statistics show the death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms.
Almost 1 out of every 5 smoke alarms in an American home doesn’t work, often because of dead batteries, and the fatality rate in those homes is about a third higher than in homes without a smoke detector at all.
In addition to taking care of your smoke detector today, Gould suggests taking a look at other fire safety issues as part of response planning such as having a family escape and rendezvous plan in case of a fire.