THE BRONX - The unofficial start of summer brings a lot of outdoor cooking. Some experts offered up tips to stay safe when firing up the grill.

Park rangers say it is important to keep at least a 10-foot distance from trees when barbecuing in the park or even at home.

"They're right on top of these trees. A foot or two feet away... The canopy can catch on fire," says Sgt. Jessica Carrero.

Barbecuing too close to a tree is not only dangerous, it can also be expensive and lead to a violation citation if you are in the park, officials say. Violators could face fines anywhere from $50 to $1,000 if they are caught breaking fire safety laws.

Park rangers say another common mistake people make when grilling is improperly disposing coals under trees. They say it is very important that grillers only use the designated red trash cans to dispose of their coal to prevent fires.