Question - Can Satan set fire to homes by himself?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His Slave and Messenger.
The Prophet ordered us to cover cookware and firmly seal water containers and doors. He mentioned that even if a person does not find anything but a stick, he should place it over a container while mentioning the Name of Allaah. He informed that Satan cannot unscrew a lid, open a door or uncover cookware. Instead, he guides a rat to make a burning wick to set fire to the house. [Muslim]
Scholars explained this Hadeeth and similar ones and concluded that Satan cannot unscrew the lid of a water container, open a locked door, or remove the cover of cookware, on the condition that a person mentions the Name of Allaah over them. If the person forgets to mention the Name of Allaah, they may be opened. Shams Al-Haq Al-Aabaadi and Al-Mubaarakfoori stated that Satan is unable to uncover cookware on the condition that the Name of Allaah is mentioned over them. Thus, if Satan is unable to unscrew the lid of a water container or other things once the Name of Allaah has been mentioned, he will not be able to make a fire by himself. For this reason he uses rats to do this.
In a Hadeeth on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas the Prophet said that Satan can direct a rat to throw a burning wick to burn down the house. Therefore, he ordered us to extinguish oil lamps before going to sleep. [Abu Daawood, Al-Haakim and Ibn Hibbaan]
Imaam An-Nawawi pointed out that this Hadeeth contains actions that would protect a Muslim from Satan. He also mentioned an authentic Hadeeth in which the Prophet informed us that Satan cannot stay at night in a house whose owner has mentioned the Name of Allaah the Almighty when entering it. Also if a Muslim mentions the Name of Allaah the Almighty before having intercourse with his wife, Satan cannot approach the resulting baby with any harm.
Allaah Knows best.