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New Fairfield firefighters urge caution on frozen lakes, streams

Lakes, ponds, streams and rivers throughout New Fairfield have begun to freeze over.  But the New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department says as the temperature continues to fluctuate above and below freezing, ice conditions are uncertain. 

They urged people looking to start skating, hockey games, ice fishing and other winter sports to use recreational skating areas instead of lakes and reservoirs.  The strength and thickness of ice on natural bodies of water should be known before any activity takes place. 

The firefighters are offering some safety tips including to never go out alone, and have a friend able to rescue you or go for help if you fall through the ice. 

Pets should be kept on a leash.  If a pet falls through the ice, New Fairfield Volunteer Fire department urged people not to attempt to rescue the pet, but instead go for help.  New ice is usually stronger than old ice.  As ice ages, the bond between the crystals decays, making it weaker, even if melting has not occurred. 

Beware of ice covered with snow.  Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but can also insulate it to keep it from freezing. Snow can also hide cracks, weak and open ice.