We're just a few days away from the official start of the summer, and that means that barbecue season is upon us.

Fire Inspector Jeff Avery with Cochrane Fire Services says that there are some common mistakes that people make while using their grills.

Avery says that it's important to inspect your barbecue at the start of the season and to stay on top of simple maintenance.

He says "The majority of our calls are from barbecues with a small propane leak or the grease trap is really full and starts a fire. You need to keep it clean and empty the grease trap regularly."

Avery says that ensuring that your barbecue is positioned at a safe distance from your home is extremely important, and if proper distancing isn't followed it could lead to a house fire.

He says "A lot of people will obviously have their barbecues on their deck, so make sure when you are barbecuing that it's not right against your house."

Another common mistake that can become quite serious is people leaving their grills unattended or forgetting to shut things off after use.

Avery says "Using a barbecue isn't like using your oven, you can't throw a roast on there and then walk away. The main rule is to never leave it unattended. When you're done everything needs to be shut down."

Whether you're being fueled by propane or natural gas, barbecues are approved for outdoor use only. They emit carbon monoxide and should never be used in a garage or any other enclosed space. 

If you're using a charcoal barbecue for your cookout, make sure the charcoal has cooled down completely before you get rid of it. This could take several hours.