Remember to ‘spring forward’ March 13

  • Published
  • By Steve Elliott
  • 502nd Air Base Wings Public Affairs

It’s that time of year when people need to remember to set their clocks an hour ahead March 13 as Daylight Saving Time begins.

Daylight Savings Time is the practice of moving the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months, and changing them back again in the fall. The general idea is that this allows us all to make better use of natural daylight. To remember which way to set their clocks, folks often use the expression, “Spring Forward, Fall Back.”

While most of the United States adheres to the time change, there are a few exceptions, such as Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

Some trace DST’s origin back to an idea by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, when he advocated laws to compel citizens to rise at the crack of dawn to save the expense of candlelight, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

It was officially adopted by the U.S. in 1918, during World War I, when the Standard Time Act was signed into law. It allowed for additional daylight hours to be added into the day to help save energy costs. The law also established the five time zones that we now know.

The current federal policy being enacted in 1966 as the Uniform Time Act. Portions of the law have been changed a few times since, including the dates when the "spring" forward and "fall" back happen. The current policy was implemented in 2005, extending daylight saving time by a few weeks. It now starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Additionally, many fire protection organizations recommend checking smoke alarms and changing batteries as needed during the time changes.