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Spring Forward: Set Clocks Ahead, Check Smoke Detectors

It’s time to spring forward.

Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday (tomorrow).

The annual time change means we lose an hour of sleep, but it also means we can about an hour of daylight. The sun will set today, Saturday March 8 at 6:08 p.m., and will set tomorrow at 7:15 p.m. The sunrise will also be later in the mornings, rising Sunday at 7:21 a.m.

Daylight savings time ends on November 2. This switch is one of two each year, between standard time in fall and daylight savings time in spring.

Fire and rescue officials always remind us at these times of years to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. A working smoke detector could save your life in the event of a fire.

Here are some smoke detector tips from the Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department::

• Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home including the basement and inside and outside sleeping areas.

• Check smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button. If you cannot reach the button easily, use a broom handle.

• Change the batteries in your alarms at least once a year or each time you change your clock. (spring forward, fall back).

• Do not remove the batteries from your smoke alarms to put in other appliances.

• The life span of a smoke alarm is 8-10 years and the entire alarm should be replaced during this time (consider installing a ten-year lithium battery-powered smoke alarm,

which is sealed so it cannot be tampered with or opened).

• Hard-wired smoke alarms with battery back-ups need to be tested monthly and batteries replaced yearly.

• Keep smoke alarms clean. Vacuum or dust your smoke alarms according to manufacturer’s directions to keep them working properly.

• Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do in the event it sounds.

Smoke alarms can often sound while cooking or taking a shower that emits large amounts of steam. If a smoke alarm sounds during these types of activities, do not remove or disable the battery; creating a minor fix that can lead to a deadly mistake. Instead you should:

• Open a window or door and press the “hush” button,

• Wave a towel at the alarm to clear the air, or

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