It looks like Daylight Saving Time is about to be extended, and that has child safety and fire prevention advocates riled.

Congressional leaders of both parties have signed off on a proposal, being considered in Washington this week, to start Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in March and end on the last Sunday of November. They say it would save energy.

If the president signs the bill, the new law would take effect immediately, extending Daylight Saving Time by one month this fall. Currently, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and ends at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.

“The more daylight we have, the less electricity we use,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored the measure with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

The pair cited a government study that estimated the additional energy savings at the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of oil a day, or about half of 1 percent of the nation’s daily oil consumption. Most of the energy saved would be in the form of electricity because lights would be used less in the early evenings, the study projected.

Fire officials argue against plan

The Chicago-based National PTA has opposed Daylight Saving Time for more than 30 years because of concerns about kids walking to school in darkness.

For years, the International Association of Fire Chiefs has framed a widespread public information campaign around Daylight Saving Time, reminding people to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks. The last weekend in November is too late for the reminder, fire officials say.

BY John J. Fialka

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