LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Ice skating and fishing this time of year is hard to resist, but fire departments in the area want to remind people of some ice safety.

The Chief of the Verdoy Fire Department says that unless they know the pond extremely well, it’s better to air on the safe side and stay off the ice.

“Unless you’re a seasoned fisherman and you know the area very well and you grew up on it even then it can still be a little risky. We suggest don’t go on it,” said Nicholas Dinovo, Verdoy Fire Department Chief.

If you do, make sure to always first check the ice for warning signs.

“If you see ice that is sticking up, usually that means that it’s frozen and then it thawed and was frozen again; anything that just doesn’t look smooth like an ice skating rink that’s usually the worst to be on,” Dinovo said.

One big cause of people falling through the ice is going after a pet that has slipped in.

“Don’t go out there after your pet. Just let them do their thing and call 911 and we’ll get there and take care of it,” Dinovo said.