Friday, October 31, 2014

It's that time of year again...time to change our clocks.

By Lisa Price Waltman/American Red Cross

Years ago, for some reason my young son had replaced the phrase “Daylight Savings Time” with “Daily Savings Time” and in our home, it has remained just that.  When I thought about his unintentionally jumbled words I realized he actually had a great point.  Are we really “saving” daylight when we’re just moving the hands or the numbers around on a clock?  But because of a ritual we have in my home, we just might be saving something else, daily.

Setting our clocks back one hour on Saturday night (November 1) for the change that will occur at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday morning is part of all of our fall back/spring forward routines of daylight savings time.  But in my home, when the times on the clocks fall back the batteries in my smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are reduced as well…reduced to being recycled properly and replaced. 

It may sound like a waste of batteries and certainly replacing them prematurely is a little cost that might not need to be incurred if they were left to run out their little battery lives in the comfort of the detectors.  But saving lives are what smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are all about and the small cost of replacing batteries to ensure they are empowered to do their jobs seems minimal when you consider their mammoth responsibilities.

Easy enough, right?  You reset the clock on the stove, the microwave, the timer on the thermostat (don‘t forget to swap out the dust-laden filter on the furnace while you‘re at it), maybe even tackle the always-blinking clocks on your cable devices.  And because of you’re newly adopted routine, you also climb up your little step ladder and check your batteries in your detectors.  Piece of cake….unless you are physically unable to do so.  What about your wonderful senior citizen neighbor Bob whom you know utilizes the help of another wonderful neighbor boy who for a few bucks, cuts Bob’s grass all summer?  Maybe, just maybe Bob might welcome the help of checking those detector batteries while you offer to stop in to change his clocks all the while being the hero who will wrestle with the computerized technology that are most clocks today.  Honestly, while I can scale a ladder like no one’s business, I still have to call my adult sons and ask them how in the heck I reset the clock on the high-tech stove that does everything but wash the dishes. 

So this Saturday when you’re moving around the numbers on the clocks and climbing up step ladders for battery checks, consider scooting down the block and offering to do the same for Bob or Betty who may not have the ability to do so and perhaps have not done so in years.  We know we cannot really save daylight but a casual visit with your neighbor just might be the visit that could be a daily savings of a life. 

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