A small fire at a Harbor Road home sparked Monday night by charcoal that firefighters say was improperly disposed of has prompted fire officials to issue a safety reminder about fire risks posed by barbecuing.

The fire was reported about 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Harbor Road driveway, where charcoal had ignited paper and trash in a plastic bin. The fire was quickly extinguished and fire crews were able to clear the scene in about 20 minutes.

In a statement issued after the incident, fire officials said: "We would like to remind all residents and visitors that it is vitally important to dispose of any coals in the correct manner.

"Allow the coals to cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals," the statement said. "Place the container outside away from anything that can burn. Never empty coals directly into a trash can. Smoking materials should also be disposed of carefully and in an appropriate container."