Ice Safety for Leisure ActivitiesPublished on: January 31, 2018
Types of Ice Conditions for a pond or lake
There are 4 basic types of ice conditions for a pond or lake. Black or Grey Ice is at the stage of deterioration. It is due to water saturation and cannot hold weight. Snow Ice is formed by wet layers of snow; thawing and refreezing. This type of ice is not safe unless it has formed over clear ice. Clear Ice is the strongest and safest ice because of the thickness. This ice is more than four inches in depth and is formed during consecutive days of sub-zero temperatures. Clear ice that is formed near the edge of the lake or pond is not suitable for skating. Frazil Ice is the first ice to form. It is incredibly weak and looks oily to opaque.
On average it takes at least 5 to 7 days of sub-zero temperatures for the ice to be safe enough to skate on. If the ice looks clear; one should walk around cautiously to inspect the ice and determine the safety.
Every Winter 25-30 Canadians die in ice-related incidents and countless others fall through the ice. Take the time to inspect the ice and determine if safe to use.
Ice Safety Tips
- Measure ice thickness
- Never go on the ice alone
- Stay off river ice
- Avoid the narrows between lakes
- Where thermal protection
- Take safety equipment with you
- Avoid alcohol
- Supervise children on the ice
- Where the appropriate equipment if playing hockey – Helmet
- Don’t drive on the ice
- Watch where you are walking
- Walk slowly on icy surfaces
- Clear all walkways
- Avoid ice-related activities after a storm or on warm days
- Avoid travel when necessary
Information Source: Red Cross, Insurance Bureau of Canada