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Time to Fall Back
For residents of Amelia Island, Florida the second Sunday of March and the first Sunday of November are when our time changes. Before 2007, the changes occured in April and October. Daylight Saving Time begins in March and we return to standard time in November. Next week, Daylight Saving Time will end in the United States and on Sunday, November 7, 2010, at 2:00 AM, it is time to fall back.

Over the past eight months we have been taking advantage of daylight lasting longer into the evening, which saves on our energy bills. The time changes twice a year and this is a great time to remember to do a few safety checks around your home.

So why am I reminding you a week ahead of time? Because if you wait until the time change to check your home, garage, sheds and other storage places for hazardous materials that need to be disposed of or recycled, you will miss the Fall Free Recycling and Hazardous Waste Collection Event offered by the City of Fernandina Beach. Which takes place the day BEFORE the time changes this year.

Many emergency agencies in our great country suggest using the time change as a reminder for ridding your home of dangerous products, I think this scheduling oversight may be due to “Governmental Intelligence” and maybe Fernandina Beach should hop on the bandwagon and offer this great event AFTER time changes… just a thought!

I will publish more information about the event on November 4th, but for now here is a hint of what you will be able to get rid of during the Fall Recycling Program:

    Paint and paint thinners
    and much more.

Here are some other things our twice a year time change should remind you to do:

-Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms.
-Evaluate the contents in your emergency disaster (or hurricane) kits. Check expiration dates on foods and medicines and replace batteries.
-Check expiration dates on your medications, both prescriptions and over the counter.

Finally, check the AGE of your detectors. In 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests not only changing your batteries but replacing smoke alarms every ten years and carbon monoxide alarms every five years.

Here is that press release:

“When Changing Clocks Back to Standard Time, Check Batteries and Age of Alarms. CPSC Recommends Replacing Older Alarms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Since 1992, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reminded consumers to check smoke alarms and change batteries when they change their clocks, but in that time, many alarms have lost their effectiveness. This year, CPSC wants to remind consumers to replace smoke alarms every ten years and replace carbon monoxide (CO) alarms every five years.

In a national telephone survey of households conducted by the CPSC, 97 percent of homes had at least one smoke alarm. That’s good news, but without fresh batteries, alarms will not work when needed. And the sensors in alarms will degrade and lose effectiveness over time because of environmental contamination and age.

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports, there were more than 1.6 million fires reported in the United States in 2005. These fires caused about 3,700 civilian deaths and 18,000 injuries. Additionally, from 2002-2004, CPSC estimated a yearly average of 166 deaths from unintentional, non-fire related CO exposure.

“Millions of Americans are without adequate protection from fire and CO because the alarm’s battery is dead or the alarm is too old,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “Alarms don’t last forever, and old ones need to be replaced.”

Consumers need to remain vigilant against carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. CPSC recommends three simple tips to protect your life, your loved ones, and your home:

Make sure your home is protected with both smoke and CO alarms. Combination smoke/CO alarms are available in the marketplace.

Test alarms monthly to make sure they are working.

Once a year, change batteries when you change your clocks.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC’s web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov.”

What will you do with your extra hour as we return to standard time?