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According to the 2016 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects fire pits are one of the "hottest" requested design features. Whether your pit is a metal ring or an elaborate brick construction, follow these tips to stay safe while enjoying it.

1. Never build a fire pit with smooth river rocks. While aesthetically pleasing, they can heat rapidly and explode. Lining your pit with rough stones is a much safer choice.

2. Make sure to place your pit at least 10 feet away from any structures, fencing or other flammable material.

3. Check that your Home Owners Association (HOA) or local authority allows open fires in your yard BEFORE you install your fire pit.

4. Find a level place…

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