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The rush and excitement of the Christmas and New Year's season can sometimes leave us a bit forgetful.

When it comes to cooking and possible hazards, Morden Fire Chief Andy Thiessen, it's the visiting with friends and family that can be a distraction. He says it's very easy to get immersed in conversation and activity that you forget you have left something on the stove. Running late for an event can also leave you forgetting about your dinner on the go.

"Those are the times where you need to take that extra 10 seconds to check and make sure you haven't left anything on the stove, to make sure those fire hazards are taken care of."

Thiessen says if you are leaving something in the oven while going out of the house, make sure you set the automatic timer to switch it off. Thiessen says nowadays, most appliances are designed to have timers and very rarely does it happen where an oven is the cause of a flame because of an item that's been left on a timer. He says it's when we rely on our own memory to get us home in time to turn off the oven, that's when it's easy to get caught up in errands, increasing the chance of forgetting. "All of a sudden you've been gone 4 or 5 hours, and you have forgotten you have an item in the oven."

Aside from cooking, Thiessen says a concern for him personally, and for his department is candle use. "You light them and often forget about them," says Thiessen. "My pet peeve is centrepieces with a big candle stuck right in the middle of it, with the centrepiece usually made with highly flammable pinecones, and tree branches. They look wonderful, but they also burn like crazy."

Thiessen says, wherever you are using a candle, give it a lot of space, and remove any nearby combustibles. When you are leaving your house or going to bed, he says it's also good practice to walk around to make sure you haven't forgotten to put out your candles.

candle matchesThiessen says, wherever you are using a candle, give it a lot of space, and remove any nearby combustibles.

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