A few safety tips to keep in mind this Fourth of July

This Independence Day, whether you are planning RV travel or you're going to drive the motorhome to a local lake for celebrations, you should make sure you, your family and friends are safe. Precaution should be taken when it comes to grilling food, fireworks and driving to and from parties. Following good safety practices will ensure you and your loved ones will have a safe and fun holiday this summer.

Cooking safety

If you're planning to fire up the grill for the Fourth of July, you may want to give it a good once-over before you get cooking. Grills should be placed at least 10 feet away from your RV and any other buildings, and you should make sure they're completely extinguished when you're done cooking. Gas grills should be inspected for signs of leaks or damage that might be extremely dangerous when you try to light the grill. Check the hoses to make sure they're intact and in good condition. They shouldn't be too brittle or hard and you don't want to have any major bends in the tubing, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. If any repairs are needed, take the grill to a professional. If you're using a charcoal grill, do so only in open air where there is plenty of ventilation.

Firework safety

If you want to use your own fireworks this year, you will need to find out if they are legal in the state and whether RV campgrounds will allow you to set them off. Otherwise, leave the light show to professionals. Keep children from getting too close to the fireworks. If you allow them to use sparklers, make sure they do so in an open clearing with plenty of supervision to prevent accidents. Fireworks get incredibly hot, and an errant spark can cause serious burns and vision loss.

"Our eyes are very delicate, so a fireworks accident can be truly devastating," said Monica L. Monica, M.D., an ophthalmologist and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Unfortunately, many Americans get caught up in the excitement of the Fourth of July, and forget that fireworks are also dangerous explosives. The safest choice is to attend a professional fireworks display. But if you really must handle fireworks yourself, make it a point to supervise children at all times, since they are particularly vulnerable to fireworks hazards."