Spring Ahead This Weekend: More to Do than Changing Clocks

March 13, 2011; 5:58 AM ET
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With the exception of people in Hawaii and most of Arizona, people across the U.S. observed the return of daylight savings time this weekend.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, clocks were adjusted forward one hour.

While most phones and many newer digital clocks, appliances and electronics automatically adjust, don't forget to change those that do not in your home, apartment or vehicles.

In addition to changing your clocks, the beginning and end of daylight saving time are also good times to do safety checks around your home.

An article from ConsumerReports.org provides a list household tasks recommended at the beginning and end of daylight saving time. The following are included in this list:

Replace batteries in all smoke and carbon-monoxide alarms

The article recommends using fresh batteries and following the manufacturer's instructions to ensure these devices are working properly.

Also advised is replacing any smoke alarm that is 10 or more years old and any carbon-monoxide alarm that is 5 or more years old with a new model.

Check storage areas for hazardous materials

Materials that are outdated, no longer being used or in poor condition, including paint, should be properly disposed of. Materials that are kept should be out of reach of children and pets.

Program thermostats for savings

According to the article, residents can save up to 20 percent on their heating (and cooling) costs by lowering (and raising) their thermostats by 5° F at night and 10° F during the day if no one is home.

In addition, the article states that more money can be saved by replacing incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent ones. Motion or light sensors on outdoor lighting can also be installed so that fixtures are in use only when needed.

Update your disaster plan

People should have plans in place and necessary supplies on hand for properly responding to a natural disaster or other cataclysmic event. The article provides a link to a free emergency guide to preparing for any storm or disaster.

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