Daylight saving time starts this weekend.
DST officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday. Cowetans should turn their clocks ahead one hour before retiring on Saturday night.
Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is urging everyone to change the batteries in their smoke alarms at the same time they change their clocks this weekend.
“The annual change to daylight saving time is the perfect opportunity to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly,” Hudgens said. “Changing the batteries in each device is the easiest way to ensure continued protection of your family and property.”
In 2017, approximately 94 residential fires in Georgia resulted in 112 deaths. Of those fires, 89 of the homes did not have a working smoke alarm. This year, 25 Georgians have died in 21 residential fires, with none of the houses having a working smoke alarm.
Hudgens said people should test and clean dust from the smoke alarms monthly. He also recommends that families plan and practice an escape route to the outside of the home in the event of a fire.
Daylight saving time is intended to maximize the number of hours of daylight. Initially suggested by a New Zealander, the practice was first implemented in 1916 in Germany and Austria-Hungary.
The United States implemented DST two years later, but the practice was not widespread until passage of the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not observe DST.