fire pitDigging a fire pit sounds easy enough—but there are a lot of things you need to watch out for. Buried electric, gas, and water lines can ruin the fun of digging your own fire-pit. Here are a few tips for digging a safe fire pit.

First find a location for your fire pit. Pick somewhere in the middle of an open area, nothing near your home or any of the surrounding shrubbery—the last thing you want is a forest fire in your own back yard. Once you have decided on a location you are almost ready to begin digging your fire pit.

Before you actually begin digging, it's probably a good idea to call your local utility company. They will outline where wires and electric lines are buried, if you make a mistake and dig into a line the repairs could be costly! Better to be safe than sorry.

Once you know where the utilities are buried you are ready to begin digging. It will help if you use your shovel to outline the size you want your fire pit to be before you start digging. This prevents odd shaped, and not necessarily circular fire pits. You will want your fire pit to be 3 or 4 feet wide, and no deeper than about a foot and a half. Electric and cable lines can be buried anywhere from 18-24 inches down, so you will want to stay out of that zone.

After you dig a nice size whole for your fire pit, use the dirt from the whole to place around the whole. This will provide a sort of protective barrier for your lawn or the surrounding plants. If you don't have enough dirt, you can dig up the grass a little in the area surrounding your fire pit.

After you have placed the dirt around the pit, you are ready to place rocks around the pit. Rocks further protect the surrounding plants (and bodies) from any stray embers that may try to pop out of the fire.