While the additional daylight hours are always a bonus, most people don’t really enjoy the seasonal clock changing ritual. Some people even believe the benefits are marginal. Regardless, in the facility manager’s world, loss of sleep is the smallest inconvenience.
Just think about it. For facility managers, daylight saving time can mean re-synchronizing numerous clocks (unless your facility has invested in atomic clocks throughout), confirming that automated systems have adjusted their programming, and making sure any other time based tasks start and stop according to their schedules.
It may seem like something to scoff at, but automated systems and DST were a matter of life and death in one court case. From the site DaylightSavingTime.com:
In California, a Chevrolet Blazer packed with teenagers struck the median of a street and flipped over, tragically killing one teen and injuring several others. The teen driver, fighting charges of felony vehicular manslaughter, claimed that the street was dangerously wet and unsafe due a lawn sprinkler system. The landscaper responsible for the computerized sprinklers testified that the sprinklers were set to come on more than 15 minutes after the fatal accident. The outcome hinged on whether the sprinklers’ timer had been adjusted for a recent daylight-saving time change, for without the DST adjustment, the sprinklers had close to 45 minutes to make the road slick.
The history of daylight saving time is slightly murky. NASA claims it was originally proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 and then advanced by the London architect William Willett (according to DaylightSavingTime.com ). But Wikipedia credits George Vernon Hudson, a shift worker who liked to collect insects in his spare daylight hours, with the modern idea. Most sources agree that the concept gained popularity during World War I.
Many countries have used it at various times, most consistently since the energy crises of the 1970s. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity), modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory,
Here are some interesting tidbits about DST:
- It’s daylight saving time, not daylight savings time.
- A U.S. Department of Transportation study found that daylight saving time cuts electricity usage nationwide by about 1% a day.
- About 70 countries worldwide observe daylight saving time. The only major industrialized nations that don’t: Japan, India, and China.
- For a time, beginning in 1965, St. Paul, MN, observed daylight saving time while its twin city across the Mississippi River, Minneapolis, did not.
- Before a uniform daylight saving time was declared in 1966, states and cities could control when they observed the change. One year, Iowans observed 23 different pairs of start and end times. For five weeks each year Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were on different times than Washington, DC, Cleveland, or Baltimore.
- In the United States, lawmakers chose 2 a.m. for the time change, because it was the least disruptive time of day. It’s late enough not to affect bars and restaurants significantly, but it’s before early shift workers and churchgoers begin their days.
- Data shows violent crime is down 10% to 13% during daylight saving time than standard times, according to a study from the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.
- Daylight saving time is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Arizona (except Arizona’s Navajo Nation, which does observe the time change).
Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead!