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As clocks ‘fall back,’ check batteries in detectors

PARKERSBURG — The time of year has come to “fall back,” set clocks back one hour and change smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.

Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Although it can be viewed as a dreaded time of the year since it will get dark earlier, changing the time twice a year serves another important purpose, according to Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews.

Matthews said it serves as a good reminder for everyone to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

“(It’s) a simple life saving habit,” Matthews said.

The Parkersburg Fire Department offers a smoke alarm program that is available for qualifying residents in the city. Anyone needing assistance installing detectors or changing the battery can call the station at 304-424-8470 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 304-424-8471 after hours.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 71 percent of faulty smoke alarms was due to missing, disconnected or dead batteries.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office said in a release now is also a good time to create or update a fire safety plan of the home.

“Every family should have a fire safety plan, ensuring that every family member is prepared if an emergency occurs,” the release said.

A change in time could result in more hazardous driving conditions. AAA East Central, in a release, recommended that “motorists and pedestrians make changes in their daily habits to adjust to reduced visibility caused by sun glare in the morning, and earlier darkness in the evening.”

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that accidents due to drowsiness are eight times more common than federal estimates indicate, the release said.

Here are some tips from AAA for motorists:

* Get plenty of rest

* Get some shades

* Change driving habits

* Ditch the distractions

* Use the headlights

* Remember to yield

Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs, AAA East Central, said, “Twilight is one of the challenging times of the day to drive, so extra precautions can go a long way in the weeks ahead.”

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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