Common causes of house fires include candles, electrical equipment, laundry equipment and cooking accidents. Christmas trees are common causes during the holiday season, and lightning is a common cause during storms.
Candles can cause fires when positioned too close to flammable objects or when knocked over. To avoid fires caused by candles, keep all lit candles at least a foot from any flammable objects, and don't leave them unattended.
Any type of equipment that uses electricity can cause a fire. Electrical problems include faulty wiring, overloaded outlets or equipment malfunctions. Using the correct type of equipment and cords helps prevent electrical fires. An electrician can check a home's wiring for any possible issues.
Dryers and washing machines both cause fires, although dryers are more frequent sources of fires. Lint is a common source of fires, so the lint screen needs regular cleanings.
Cooking accidents often occur when people leave cooking equipment unattended. Watching food and cooking equipment that's in use is a simple way to prevent many fires. Handling kitchen fires correctly is important to put out the fire and prevent injuries. Water doesn't put out grease fires, so cover the flames or use a fire extinguisher instead. For oven fires, turn the oven off and wait for it to go out before opening the door.