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Set clocks forward, let the sun shine in

Students urged to be cautious at early-morning bus pick-ups
By: Jenna Nielsen Journal Staff Writer
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Don't forget to spring your clocks forward an hour before you hit the pillow Saturday night. It's an hour of sleep you won't get back for eight months ” in exchange for more sunlight in the evenings, of course. The change should officially be made at 2 a.m. Sunday. Local fire officials are using daylight-saving time as an opportunity to remind residents to replace the batteries in all smoke alarms when turning your clocks forward. Every year, lives are lost in homes without smoke alarms or those homes with a non-functioning smoke alarm, said Director Ruben Grijalva of Cal Fire. If everyone made changing the smoke alarm batteries as routine as changing their clocks, lives would be saved. Grijalva said smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing deaths and injuries from fire. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 95 percent of all homes in the nation have at least one smoke alarm. However, 65 percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no alarms or no working smoke alarms. This minimal effort of changing the batteries twice a year could mean the difference between life and death, Grijalva said. This year, several fatalities have occurred in California, which might have been prevented with working smoke alarms, she said. Cal Fire officials also suggest testing your smoke alarm once a month and replacing them every 10 years. Daylight-saving time will also put students in the dark at early morning school bus stops beginning Monday, school officials warn. An anticipated 1,800 children and teens will board Mid-Placer Public Schools Transportation school buses routes today as early as 6 a.m. On Monday, sunrise is at 7:25 a.m., and students will likely be standing in the dark waiting for bus pick-ups. We encourage students to be careful and be at their bus stop at least five to 10 minutes before the expected (bus) arrival time so that they are ready to go, said Martin Ward, chief executive officer for the Mid-Placer Public Schools Transportation. Ward said Mid-Placer transportation officials are also advising students to be careful on Monday and to wear light clothing to reflect headlights and are asking residents to always stop when red lights flash indicating students are loading or unloading. Local law enforcement agencies are also asking the public to watch for students standing at bus stops and be more cautious come Monday. Drivers, bicyclists, we urge everyone to use more caution, said Valerie Harris, Auburn Police chief. And for those running late because they failed to set their clocks ” don't rush. Be late rather than potentially putting someone in harm's way. The Journal's Jenna Nielsen can be reached at jennan@goldcountrymedia.com or comment on this story at auburnjournal.com.