As temperatures continue to remain below freezing, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are warning people of the dangers of frozen lakes and ponds.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: “Last year we dealt with a number of incidents involving pets on the ice and people entering freezing water. The worry is that children will see frozen lakes as playgrounds and that could prove fatal.

Frozen Lake

Frozen Lake

“Sometimes bodies of water can look deceptively frozen and it actually only be a very thin layer of ice which will not take much weight at all.

“At the moment the water in lakes and ponds is of a dangerously low temperature and many bodies of water across the county are starting to ice over. If people or pets fall through ice they will quickly get into difficulty because the cold water is a real shock to the system.

“Our firefighters have equipment to deal with this type of incident and Newcastle and Tamworth both have water rescue units, which include inflatable walkways for use on ice; however this shouldn’t detract from the point that people shouldn’t risk their lives by playing on the ice. Dog owners should keep their pets on leads when around ice to prevent their dogs from getting into difficulty.

“If you see someone, or a pet, fall through the ice and get into difficulty, do not risk yourself by trying to rescue them, instead ring 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service immediately.”

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service created an ice safety DVD highlighting the dangers of children playing on ice. The film can be watched on Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s website:

Schools can also request a visit by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to carry out a presentation about winter safety, which includes the dangers of playing on ice. To book a visit call 08451 22 11 55 and ask to be put through to your local risk reduction team.

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