With colder temperatures outside, many are spending more time in their home which increases the risk of a house fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes more than 360,000 home structure fires a year, which results in about $6-8 billion in damages. Fires can start in many ways, but can also be prevented if the correct precautions are taken. 

Here are 3 of the 8 most common fire hazards in your home and ways they can be prevented: 

1. Cooking: Cooking is the number one cause of house fires. 40% of all house fires are started from leaving pots and pans on the stove and leaving them unattended for just a few minutes according to the NFPA.

  • To prevent a fire: Keep flammable materials away from the stove and oven, never leave a hot stove unattended, and always stay alert when cooking. 
2. Candles: As beautiful and fragrant as a candle may be, the National Fire Protection Association found 10,630 fires were started by candles from 2007-2011 in the United States. 
  • To prevent a fire: Never leave a burning candle in an unoccupied room, keep candles away from flammable items, and blow out any lit candles before going to sleep or leaving a room. 
3. Washing Machines and Dryers: The NFPA reports 16,800 home structure fires were caused by clothing dryers in 2010. 
  • To prevent a fire: use a lint screen and clean it frequently, clean the dryer vent pipe, and keep flammable materials away from the dryer.