With the Summer in full swing, that only means one thing... barbecue season in all its glory.

But with the cook-outs on the deck, the family gatherings could easily turn into a phone call to the fire department if your grill isn't properly maintained.

Okotoks Deputy Fire Chief Patrick MacIsaac says just cleaning your barbecue after every use can stop the most common cause of grill fires.

"Grease fires from barbecues are a pretty common occurrence," he says. " Making sure the barbecue is placed appropriately, so it's not too close to either railings or a side of a house."

MacIsaac emphasized the importance of keeping Bar-B-Que's a few feet back from railings and sidings.

"Feel the back of (the barbecue), and there's a lot of heat coming off of it," he says. "We've seen siding melt from barbecues, we've seen fires started because they're close to decks and railings, so a few feet is a safe distance."

MacIsaac says propane tanks with barbecues need to have proper maintainence performed on them. If they are expired you will need to replace your old one.

"Propane fueling stations won't fill them anymore, they legally can't, " he says. "Anything that causes you concern, if it looks unsafe or if it's damaged... just don't use it and get a new one."

MacIsaac adds if you need to dispose of an old tank you can do so at the Foothills Regional Landfill.

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