New England is infamous for its’ unpredictable weather patterns especially during the winter months. But when I was younger I remember those months being incredibly long, snowy and cold. I was able to endure those long winters for I had access to a huge lake that was frozen during most of it. So that meant at least 3 months of ice skating!! Whoo hoo! However, I also look back and remember how foolhardy I was for I used to venture out many times without any adult supervision or a companion. That’s a scary notion even for today, for the same dangers still presents itself as it did back then. Maybe even more so now for the weather is so variable with warming spells in between the cold ones. That doesn’t give the ice, even in the smallest of puddles, time to freeze all the way through to deem it safe enough. So, you need to make sure before going out that it is safe. Here’s how.
Depending on the activity, the key factor here is the thickness of the ice. You can check it’s depth with either a cordless drill or an ice auger or chisel.
If the ice is:
3” – Keep off!!! 4” – Ice fishing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and walking. 6” – Snowmobile or ATV (800 lbs) 8”-12” – Car or small pickup 12”-15” – Medium truck
But understand that the thickness is for clear, solid ice. Any ice white in color is considered “snow ice” and it needs to be twice as thick as the clear ice to be safe.
If you are going to be spending some time out on the ice, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Here are some ideas:
• Make sure you are adequately dressed in full cold weather attire. • Never go out without a buddy or two. (Don’t be like me.) • Have a spare set of warm dry clothes handy. • Have an emergency rescue kit (rope, ice pick, cellphone, life ring)
So, now that you have a good handle on ice safety and some precautionary ideas, all you need to do now is to wait. It usually takes about two weeks of below freezing temperatures to freeze a lake or pond.
Enjoy the pleasures of winter and be safe!
Here at Donald J. Medeiros Insurance Agency our goal is to try to help our viewers by suggesting solutions for many different situations. By no means can we address each reader’s specific concerns in every incident. We strongly advise to check with a representative to address your specific needs. However, you can contact us for any insurance questions or concerns and we will be happy to help you. We offer a very competitive line of auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance and commercial insurance for all of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. If you have a Facebook account, you can get a quote right on our Facebook page.