With sizzling temperatures on the horizon, many Calgarians are sizing up their slabs of meat to toss on the barbecue.

But the Calgary fire department and ATCO teamed up yesterday to remind Calgarians there is more to barbecuing than just what type of meat to grill.

“We definitely see a higher number of calls during the summer for barbecue fires. Some people don’t realize there is a need for regular maintenance,” fire spokesperson Jeff Budai said.

Budai said one common mistake people commit is leaving the barbecue on when they are done cooking in an effort to burn off the remnants.

“That’s not a good idea because you may forget the barbecue is on. We recommend you clean and grill the remnants off as you are warming the barbecue up before cooking.”

Budai said people also need to ensure they keep the barbecues away from the siding of the house and guard rails.

“We’ve been called to homes where the rails have caught on fire,” he said.

Dale Belley, supervisor with ATCO gas, said people also need to be cognizant of proper maintenance of the barbecue, including checking the hoses and making sure there are no gas leaks.