STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Whether you are along the shoreline, further up north or even in the hills of Connecticut, it is cold out and that has a lot of people thinking about going to their local lake or pond to go ice fishing or ice skating.

There are plenty of bodies of water throughout the state that have been frozen this winter and will be frozen again this weekend.

How do you know if the ice is safe? Mystic’s Fire Chief Anthony Manfredi, Jr. said it should be at least four inches thick and if you see water at the edge of the ice or on the ice itself, it may not be safe.

“With the temperatures going up and down, you should always assume that the ice is not safe,” he said.

He said if you are going out alone, you should take even more precautions.

“We would recommend a type 3 PFD to make sure you have it on in case you fall through the ice. A lot of the ice now is covered with snow so you really can’t tell how thick or think the ice is. You want to make sure somebody knows where you’re at,” Manfredi said. “The time that you’re going to go out and the time you should be back and have a cell phone with you in case you need to call 911.”

He said you should have a horn or whistle on you in case you fall through the ice.

“You could blow that,” he said. “You could try to grab onto the sides of the ice and kick your feet to keep you afloat.”

Manfredi said the fire department is ready if it gets a call for an ice rescue.

“We are equipped with an ice rescue sled,” Manfredi said. “We have 150 feet of deployment rope.”

Rescuers know to crawl along the ice if they need to pull someone out.

“You’re less likely to crack the ice,” he said.

The cove is tidal so it does not freeze up as easily as a lake or a pond but even some of those can have a current in them and that could make them deceptively dangerous where there could be some thin spots in the ice.

This winter, there have been ponds and lakes that were frozen, like one in Montville where a police officer helped a deer stuck on the ice. Many of those will be frozen again this weekend.