It is that time of year again, time to turn our clocks back an hour or as some call it  – fall back an hour.  Yes, it is time for us to change from Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) to Pacific Standard Time (PST) effective at 2 AM early Sunday morning.

But wait! Didn’t the Washington state legislature authorize keeping the state on daylight time? Yes, they did.  So did Oregon and California.  And our neighbors to the north in British Columbia will follow suit if the entire west coast stays on daylight time year round.

However, only the U.S. Congress can authorize one or more states to stay either permanently in daylight or standard time.  Congress has not taken up this issue in either the House or Senate. So the twice annual tradition of switching from daylight to standard time in early November, and back to daylight time in early March continues.

Fire agencies want to remind us that the change in time is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Too many fatal fire tragedies occur because the smoke detector(s) had a dead battery.

In addition, the National Weather Service (NWS) reminds us to also change the backup batteries in your all-hazard NOAA Weather Radios. If you are not familiar with all-hazard weather radios, visit the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards home page including how these devices can alert you to not only immediate life-saving weather warnings like tornadoes and flash floods, but also emergency messages from your local North Sound authorities for events like hazardous releases and wildfire warnings. The NWS Seattle forecast office that serves the North Sound with stations in Seattle and near Port Townsend.

With the holidays just weeks away, NOAA Weather Radio receivers for your home, car, business, place of worship, health care facility and more can make a fine holiday gift idea. These weather radios are a life saver for the price of a pair of shoes, and include external features to help those with sight and hearing disabilities.

So remember to change your clocks Saturday night. Your cell phones and computers should make the time change themselves. Perhaps this time change will be our last one if Congress takes action next year!