Hard to believe it, but the winter months are upon us. This Sunday at 2 a.m., daylight-saving time comes to an end and clocks are turned back an hour.
As people get accustomed to darkness falling ahead of the 6 p.m. hour, there will be complaints about daylight-saving time not being year-round. At the same time, those up and going early in the day will be happy for daylight ahead of 7 a.m.
Since the introduction of modern daylight-saving time in the early 20th century, many countries have been adjusting the clock one hour ahead in spring and winding it back by one hour during fall. The practice is not without controversy.
According to timeanddate.com, advantages include the extra hour of daylight in the afternoon for those who work later hours, exercise in the evenings or need to complete outdoor household chores such as mowing the grass, gardening or fixing windows, roofs or other parts.
Others have reported that daylight-saving time can be linked to reduced road injuries. A joint Transport Research Laboratory and University College of London study predicted that less people would be killed and injured in road accidents if one hour of daylight was transferred from the morning to the afternoon.
And there are arguments on the idea that daylight-saving time reduces electricity usage and promotes energy efficiency. Some say the extra hour in the afternoon can counter blackouts and other electrical failures that can occur later in the day. Others say that it influences people to spend more time out of the house, thus decreasing the need for artificial lighting as well as the likelihood of using home electric appliances.
Complaints about daylight-saving time include safety fears in the dark mornings, especially for school children waiting for a bus in some areas. The result of such concerns has been no daylight-saving time in some countries.
And in countries such as Iraq, there are those who believe that life is less complicated without daylight-saving time, thus minimizing confusion and interruption associated with time, including changes to schedules and food preparations.
Farming groups have also expressed anti-daylight time views, saying it has a significant adverse impact on rural families, businesses and communities.
Debate aside, the clocks will be turned back this Sunday and the adjustments will be made.
As with changes past, it’s a good time to check and change batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors, replace furnace filters, clean around your home to prepare for winter and review your insurance policy and other important documents.
The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America offers a quick fall-back checklist for homeowners, renters and business owners to review and make sure they are ready for the winter months.
Here’s the full fall-back checklist:
* 1. Change clocks back one hour Saturday night before going to bed.
* 2. Change batteries in fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors-make sure they are functioning correctly. If you don’t have one already, it’s a good time to invest in a fire extinguisher.
* 3. Replace your furnace filters before the winter months. It could possibly lower your bill and prevent home fires.
* 4. Prepare your home for the winter months. Check pipes under sinks to make sure they will get adequate heat and also make sure leaves are out of gutters, and trees trimmed and not hanging over power lines.
* 5. Review your homeowner’s policy. Now is the time to check to make sure your policy is up to date and you have the right amount of coverage. Make sure you have the adequate amount of insurance, ask questions about different types of insurance policies, and keep an inventory of the items you have.