Daylight Saving Time starts and stops every six months

Daylight Saving Time ended on November 3, 2019. At 2:00am local time, clocks were turned backwards one hour. Richland Public Health recommends incorporating this schedule for doing important maintenance jobs around the house which are relevant to public health:

Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide filters

Two-thirds of all fire deaths happen in homes where the smoke alarms aren’t working. Use this opportunity to check the battery and functionality of your alarms.

Take stock of your medicine cabinet and first aid kit

Check the expiration dates on medicines you have stored, or use this time to invest in a first aid kit.

Reverse your ceiling fan

When fans spin counter-clockwise they push air down, and when they spin clockwise they pull cold air up. So, it’s better to have your fan spinning counter-clockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. It’s also a good idea to take this opportunity to dust the fan blades.

Replace your air filters

Air filters become full of dust over time which is a fire hazard and can prevent your heating system from working efficiently.

Check your gutters

Cleaning gutters is miserable in the dead of winter, so clean out dead leaves and debris now while it’s easier!

Check your emergency kit

It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit with non-perishable good and first aid supplies in case of natural disasters. This is a good time to swap out canned goods for something fresher.

Clean your fridge’s coils 

Layers of dirt and dust can build up over time, so this is a good time to vacuum those out to keep your fridge running properly.

Vacuum out your dryer’s vents and ducts

Lint in the vent pipes or behind the dryer and in the ducts is often the cause of dryer fires. Stay safe and clean it out!

Replace or clean filters around your house

This is a good time to inspect the filters in your heating and air-conditioning units to make sure the system is running well. You should also check the water filter in your fridge and the HEPA filter in your vacuum.

Arguments in favor of DST

Proponents of DST generally argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening (in summer), and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime or is good for business. Among the proponents of year-round daylight saving are businesses, including convenience stores and golf courses, that would benefit from the extra daylight, and others who see year-round daylight saving as a boon to public safety.

Farmers used to be opposed to DST!

For some reason, many Americans thought the practice of changing clocks was proposed by farmers. However, farmers were opposed to Daylight Saving Time from the beginning, and had the only organized lobby against Daylight Saving Time in the history of the country because the practice left them with an hour of less sunlight to get their crops to the market. Many farmers still do not like Daylight Saving Time including some dairy farmers who find that their cows’ natural milking schedule do not adapt readily to the shift.

DST In Policy and Social Media

So far in 2019, at least 36 states have introduced legislation to end or at least study the practice, more than any year before. Most endorse permanent DST which would result in an extra hour of evening sunlight for more of the year in exchange for a delayed sunrise in the winter. The issue has played out on social media with the hashtags #DitchTheSwitch and #LockTheClock. This was tried in the 1970s and met with a strong negative reaction because people did not like waking up, going to work, and even worse, sending their kids to school in the dark. Legislation to go on year-round daylight saving time has passed in at least seven states, including Delaware, Maine and Tennessee this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Oregon was the most recent, approving year-round daylight saving on June 17.

Further Reading

1. Consumer Product Safety Commission. N.d. Smoke Alarms – Why, Where and Which. CPSC Pub. 559. https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/559.pdf

2. Handwerk, Brian. (2013, November 1). Time to Move On? The Case Against Daylight Saving Time. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131101-when-does-daylight-savings-time-end- november-3-science/

 3.Ross, Sunny. (2019, Aug. 17). Ditch the switch? Call to go on permanent daylight saving time grows. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ditch-switch-call-go-permanent-daylight- saving-time-grows-n1043051

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