When are frozen ponds safe to walk on?

by: Jim Morelli Updated:

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WESTWOOD, Mass. - After several days of frigid temperatures, some ponds and lakes in Massachusetts are finally frozen over, and that has emergency responders concerned.

“We do hold our breath a bit. We do encourage people to get off the ice,” one first responder told FOX25.

When are frozen ponds safe to walk on?

According to the fire departments FOX25 contacted, pretty much never.

“There's really no way of knowing when the ice is safe,” a first responder said.  

Even if you measured its thickness. Five inch thick ice can support the weight of a human being, maybe even a couple, but it’s often difficult to tell which part of the pond has ice that thick.

“Could have some kind of a current underneath. So one area might be five inches thick....   you could have something two feet away that's two inches thick,” a first responder told FOX25.

Despite those warning signs, there is no shortage of people headed out on the ice.