LOS ANGELES (CNS) - This weekend will be one hour shorter than usual, thanks to the onset of daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday, meaning residents will have to "spring forward" and turn clocks ahead by one hour.
The annual clock-changing ritual will mean one less hour of sleep, so plan accordingly. And as usual, fire officials urged people to use the time change as a reminder to check smoke alarms and replace the batteries if necessary. It is also a good time to reset timers on outdoor lights and lawn sprinkler systems.
Cal Fire officials noted that while newer smoke alarms come with 10- year batteries, people should still test them monthly to ensure they're working properly.
"Smoke alarms give Californians an early warning when there is a fire so everyone can quickly get outside," Acting State Fire Marshal Daniel Berlant said in a statement. "Smoke alarms simply save lives, but they must be tested monthly to ensure they are in good working order."
According to Cal Fire, the risk of dying in a house fire is 55% lower in homes with working smoke alarms than those with no alarms.
Fire officials offered the following tips on handling and maintaining smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors:
-- Install smoke detectors on all floors of your home or apartment.
-- If the devices are hardwired into your electrical system, be sure to have a backup battery-operated smoke detector in case of a power outage.
-- Mount alarms high on walls, at least four to 12 inches from the ceiling.
-- Never paint over a smoke detector.
-- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove lint or dust.
-- Test the smoke detectors regularly. If the smoke detector "chirps" it is an indication of a low battery, which should be changed.
The Automobile Club of Southern California also traditionally warns morning drivers to be on the lookout for pedestrians, since it will be dark for an hour longer in the mornings.
The time change means California will shift into the same hour as Phoenix and Tucson, which do not switch to daylight saving time, along with the rest of the Mountain Time Zone. Hawaii also stays on its standard time, meaning the islands will be three hours earlier than Los Angeles for the next half year, instead of two hours.