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A change that is worth making

(Cartoon by Lance Goosen)

For those who wake up at the crack of dawn to start their day, the bright sunlight of summer and early-fall is now being replaced by darkness.

This minor inconvenience will get a bit of a reprieve this weekend, as on Sunday, Nov. 3,  clocks will fall back at 2 a.m., giving us, but mostly farmers, an extra hour of daylight.

As many of us now use our cell phones to check the time, it’s likely we don’t necessarily need to shuffle out of bed like a zombie to make that change.

But the city and Oshawa Fire Services are reminding residents to use this opportunity for another cause.

The fire service is asking community members to replace batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms when they change their clocks this weekend.

Landlords and homeowners are required to have working smoke alarms on every storey of their homes and outside every sleeping area.

Removing or tampering with smoke and carbon monoxide devices is a criminal act, and can lead to fines of up to $50,000 for an individual and/or one year in prison.

The Ontario Fire Code requires every house, condo, apartment, hotel, and university/college residence with a fuel-burning device, and any building with an attached garage, to have a working carbon monoxide alarm

The harsh consequences of a lack of working smoke alarms was seen almost two years ago after a tragic fire in downtown Oshawa which claimed four lives.

While there were no criminal charges, charges were laid against the building’s owner under the Ontario Fire Code and Fire Protection and Prevention Act.

For around $20, residents can purchase a combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm which local fire officials believe is the best way for them to protect themselves, their families, homes and possessions.

While on the topic of safety, Halloween is later this week, and residents should be reminded to keep an eye out for youth enjoying trick or treating. With darkness taking over earlier, let’s all make sure we drive as carefully as possible and make it a safe, happy and spooky night for everyone.

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