ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — This weekend is the unofficial kick off to summer.

Rockford Fire has some tips to keep residents and their families safe if they plan on grilling outside.

“One of the things that we want to make sure people are doing are first of all making sure your grill has been properly cleaned and maintained. That stuff accumulates on there. Grease and fat, stuff like that, and you could have some flare ups,” said Michael Snapper, arson investigator for the Rockford Fire Department. “Make sure that your grill is properly distanced away. It is not too close to any vegetation, any fences, your house itself. And then, if you are using a safe charcoal grill or something like that, make sure you are properly disposing of it.”

The fire department said that following these grilling tips is especially important this Memorial Day due to the dry conditions that the state has been experiencing.