December 12, 2013 - People are beginning to venture onto the frozen waters of local lakes. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind citizens that the ice can be very unpredictable and is never considered completely safe.

For those that do go out on the ice, the proper safety equipment is essential; a life jacket or flotation suit, ice picks and a rope are recommended. Always let someone know where you will be and when you will return. Extra caution should be used on ice near bridges and trestles, as the structures conduct heat into the water and ice near these areas will be more dangerous. This is also true for areas where there is a current running through the water. Be aware of ice covered with snow. Sometimes the snow serves as insulation. Other times, it has the opposite effect by insulating the surface from freezing.

When taking snowmobiles or ATV’s on the water, they must be equipped with the proper flotation equipment. For a schedule of flotation inspections, go to <>.