Dog walkers warned over venturing onto ice by Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Keep dogs on lead and never try to save a pet yourself, say experts
9:18am Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in News
With the icy conditions continuing from the weekend, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding people not to venture onto frozen water.
In recent winters, the service has been called out numerous times to help after dogs have fallen into ponds, lakes and rivers.
While there have been no such incidents as yet in Wiltshire, firefighters in other parts of the country have already been called upon to carry out such rescues.
Area Manager Jim Mahoney said: “Wintry conditions are great for sledding, but newly frozen water will not be thick enough to act as an ice rink.
"You can never be certain that the ice will be strong enough to carry the weight of an animal, let alone a person, so it is essential that you keep dogs on leads and make sure children are supervised.”
If you see someone go through ice into the freezing water below, do not try to carry out a rescue yourself – call 999 and ask for the fire & rescue service.
Wiltshire Police has issued the following advice to anyone who has to travel in snow or icy conditions:
• Keep up-to-date with the weather forecast and road conditions before you set off on your journey.
• Check that your vehicle is roadworthy.
• Make sure you have full visibility before driving, taking time to de-mist and de-ice all windows.
• Use your lights.
• When the roads are wet and icy, it can take twice as long to stop your vehicle so slow down.
• Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
• In poor visibility be extra alert for hazards.
• Carry warm waterproof clothing, a sleeping bag, food, water and a torch in your vehicle, in case weather conditions mean you have to stop.
• Make sure you have plenty of fuel for your journey before you set off.
• Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Manoeuvre gently and avoid harsh braking and acceleration. If you start to skid, gently ease off the accelerator and avoid braking. If braking is necessary, pump the brakes, don't slam them on.
• Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
• Poor weather conditions mean it can be harder for drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists, so be vigilant and make sure you can be seen however you are traveling and wear high visibility clothing.
For information about road conditions on motorways and trunk roads, check the Highway Agency website www.highways.gov.uk.
For information on weather conditions, visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.com