Now that cold weather is here the Plainfield Fire Protection District is urging everyone to please stay off the ice. Even though neighborhood ponds and other bodies of water freeze over that does not mean the ice is strong enough to support you. Never go out onto the ice. There are many things that can make ice weak including changes in the temperature, any movement or current of the water and how deep the water is. New clear ice needs to be a minimum of 4 inches thick to support the weight of one person. Ice that is covered in snow or white in color is only about half as strong as clear ice. Factor in temperature changes and the unique characteristics of each body of water and you can see why there is no such thing as 100% safe ice. Teach children not to go out onto the ice and don’t chase pets or other animals that go onto ice. Call your pet to get them to come back on land. If you see anyone fall through ice call 9-1-1 to get them help. Don’t go onto the ice to help them because you may also fall through. Let them know that help is on the way. If you can safely reach them from shore throw a rope or cable or lay a ladder down for them to grab onto. Throw something that will help them float until help arrives. When getting anyone out of cold water make sure they are immediately brought to a warm area while waiting for rescuers to evaluate them for injury. For more information about ice safety visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at https://www.ifishillinois.org/programs/ice.php.