Expert offers advice during high fire dangers across Texas

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas firefighters are at the ready for what could be a high risk of wildfires Tuesday. Gov. Greg Abbott has called for strike teams, helicopters and air tankers to be ready to respond.

National fire expert Aris Papadopoulis thinks you should be ready too.

“I have firsthand exposure to what it takes to stay safe and get out of danger,” Papadopoulis said.

Papadopoulis was inside the fiery World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 and is now dedicated to helping others increase their chances of surviving a fire.

He said it starts with deciding where you want to live.

“I like to say 80% of your vulnerability will be determined the moment you select a neighborhood and house. That’s the moment of truth. Once you make a decision, you are locked in,” he explained.

“The other 15% is what you do to renovate and retrofit the house later,” he said.

His advice is to check what’s in your home. Is it up to code? Are there enough fire alarms?

“The other 5% or so is what you do to prepare as the hazard is coming close to you,” said Papadopoulis.

That means clearing any dry brush around your home before it adds fuel to any fire.

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