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Stay Safe this Winter: Practice Ice Safety

Logo of Town of High River

by Town of High River

02/02/2024

Community

Update, February 2, 2024:
Town staff, including members of the Fire Department, do not check ice thickness for any body of water in the Town. Residents are encouraged to always practice ice safety by following the tips below.

With temperatures dropping and bodies of water beginning to freeze, the Town of High River is reminding residents about the importance of ice safety.

The winter brings fun activities like hockey, ice skating, ice fishing and more. When temperatures fluctuate, venturing onto the ice on any body of water can be fatal.

Below are some tips to help you stay safe around ice this winter:

  • During unseasonably warm temperatures, remember that the ice is melting and is not safe!
  • Ensure children are always under supervision and keep pets on a leash.
  • Only skate on still bodies of water, such as lakes and ice over 20 centimetres thick.
  • Avoid streams and flowing water, even if it looks frozen.

Look at the colour of the ice when determining its strength:

  • Clear blue to black ice is the strongest and likely the thickest.
  • White opaque or snow ice should be avoided.
  • Grey ice indicates the presence of water or rotten ice and is unsafe to stand on.

What do I do in an ice emergency?

If you fall in, immediately call for help and have someone dial 9-1-1.

  • If you fall in, trying to climb out can break weak ice around you. Remember to stay calm and look toward the shore.
  • Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface of the ice and work forward by kicking your feet. Doing this will help keep you horizontal and help you “swim” out of the hole.
  • Once you are lying on the ice, roll away from the hole and do not stand.
  • Crawl back towards your tracks and follow your tracks back to shore.

What do I do if I witness someone fall through the ice?

Rescuing another person from the ice can be dangerous. It is best to wait for trained professionals to arrive or wait for help from other bystanders.

  • Remember to stay calm and call 9-1-1.
  • Do not run up to the hole. You may break through and fall in.
  • Use an item on shore to extend out to them to help pull them out of the hole.

For more information on how to stay safe around ice this winter, visit the Ice Safety section of the Town’s website.

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For more information:

Town of High River

403-652-2110

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