Last week's blast of wintery weather served as a reminder that the seasons - and time - are 'a changin'.

Daylight Savings Time ends over the weekend, and clocks should be set back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday.

While furnaces and fireplaces got broken in when nighttime temperatures dipped to freezing late last week, it's not too late to safeguard against cold weather hazards.

Heating systems, chimneys and flues should be inspected by certified professionals to ensure they are in good working order and free of leaks and debris that can ignite a fire, Somervell County Fire Marshal Dewayne Griffin said.

"Homeowners who have fireplaces in their homes should have them inspected and cleaned annually by a certified chimney sweep," he said.

Others who rely on natural or propane gas, should have carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed.

"Homes that use gas as a heat source should have a carbon monoxide detector - poisoning is a major concern in these homes," Griffin added. "Now is also the time of year when everyone should change the batteries in smoke alarms."

Griffin recommends installing a dual detector that alerts on smoke and CO.

Homeowners are advised to install CO detectors near all sleeping areas, and check them regularly to insure they are operational.

CO poisoning claims hundreds of lives and sends thousands of individuals to emergency rooms annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

Many household items such as gas and oil burning furnaces, portable generators and charcoal grills produce the poisonous gas.

Griffin said only devices that are certified for indoor heating should be used to keep homes warm.

"And fuel sources, like propane tanks, should never be taken inside a home," he added.