Fire officials visit local schools this week to say "Every secon - Hometownstations.com-WLIO- Lima, OH News Weather Sports

Fire officials visit local schools this week to say "Every second counts..."

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Patches and Jackson will be visiting all 10 elementary schools to talk safety. Patches and Jackson will be visiting all 10 elementary schools to talk safety.
Fire officials encourage families to practice home fire drills twice a year. Fire officials encourage families to practice home fire drills twice a year.

Three third grade classes at Heritage Elementary spent their afternoon learning how to keep safe with the help of Patches the Fire Safety Dog.

"Patches is an interactive robot and we've had it about seven or eight years. We take it to the schools and they are very receptive of it. It actually helps us to get our point across because they pay quite a bit attention to the robot instead of to us," said Christopher Jackson, Certified Fire and Safety Inspector.

Some of the students have learned drills at school, but still needs practice at home.

"We go out the back door so we'll go out our classrooms then they lock all the doors. Then we'll walk outside at recess then well stand there or we'll go out the front building. Then we'll make sure everybody is out," said Amyah King, a 3rd grader at Heritage.     

With this years theme "Every Second Counts.. Know 2 Ways Out," Safety Inspector Christopher Jackson said teaching students quick escapes at home is the main focus. 

"Not many people actually do it in their homes so one of the things we talk to them about is actually practicing their fire drill at home and we give them literature to take home to their parents to get them to practice and we tell them it can actually be fun. Again, it's just a life-saver if they know how to get out," said Jackson.  

Patches and Jackson will be visiting all 10 elementary schools to talk safety. Mixed in with a little music and fun, he reminded the students at Heritage of some other key advice like having an escape plan that kids can follow themselves and always sleep with the bedroom door closed. 

"We want to make sure that they know how to get out of a house. A lot of times they think they'll go out of a door because that's how they got in, but if their egress is blocked because of a fire, we want to teach them how to maybe go out of another exit like maybe a window or a secondary door," said Jackson. 

Fire officials encourage families to practice home fire drills twice a year.

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