If you plan on firing up the grill this Fourth of July, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind to prevent injuries and avoid a trip to the hospital.

It just wouldn't be the Fourth of July without meat grilling on the pit, but before you spark up the grill, Corpus Christi Fire Department Captain James Brown has a few safety tips you need to follow.

"First thing, if you're using gas, make sure your equipment is in proper working order," Brown said. "Make sure to check the leaks, the hoses aren't leaking."

Brown said that, when you are getting ready to light it, make sure the lid is open; and whether you use gas or charcoal, make sure the flame stays away from other materials, and that the coals have cooled completely before you dispose of them. After all, we are in a drought and one spark from your pit could cause a major fire.

Brown points out that you need to use common sense when cooking outdoors. Keep that grill 10-20 feet away from your house. Plus, you need to keep your eye on the fire. Don't walk away and, of course, never use gasoline to start your grill or to try and get the flames going.

"You don't want to use gasoline," Brown said. "Gasoline is extremely dangerous. It has a low flash point, and it can cause serious injuries."

So if you follow those tips, your Fourth of July barbecue should be something to remember, not regret.

Also, remember to make sure to have a spray bottle filled with water or a bucket of water nearby, just in case of an emergency.