Frozen water safety

Going onto frozen ponds, reservoirs, lakes and canals is dangerous and can have fatal results. It might be tempting to walk or play on frozen water, but the ice can easily break.  

The temperature of the water is cold enough to take your breath away, which can easily lead to panic and drowning.

Never venture onto frozen water. Even if the ice appears thick from the bank, it becomes thinner very quickly and can crack.

Our message is simple – stay safe, stay off the ice.

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) website has some useful advice and tips on how to speak to children about the dangers of frozen water

What to do if someone falls into icy water

If you see a person in trouble in water, stay on the bank and phone 999 (ask for the fire service if inland, or the coastguard if by the sea).

If you can reach the person with a branch, clothing tied together, a river pole, or other items then you could try to do so - but you must stay firmly on the bank.

Animals and frozen water

If a dog, or other animal, ventures onto the ice, or falls through it, do not go onto the ice to rescue it – you are likely to end up in the freezing water and unable to help the animal.

Never throw sticks or balls onto the ice for your dog – keep them on a lead near frozen water. 


Frozen water safety social media toolkit (Zip, 6.29MB)

Ice safety leaflet (PDF, 801KB)

Ice safety poster (PDF, 1.35MB)