Tips to safely heat your ice house while fishing

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As lakes continue to freeze in the Northland, many people are heading to the ice for fishing.

But before getting ready to drop those lines, anglers should make sure they have the right equipment to stay safe on the water.

An important thing to keep in mind is safely heating fish huts. Those preparing to ice fish should make sure they are using approved indoor heating devices, particularly appropriate propane tanks.

If those heating devices aren’t hooked up the right way, there is a risk carbon monoxide leaks, or in rare cases, an explosion.

"Please make sure that you’re using a carbon monoxide detector within your fish house," said Lisa Consie, Provisional Fire Marshal in Duluth.

"When you’re burning gas you get carbon monoxide and we want to make sure we’re venting that out so that we’re not getting that trapped inside the fish house, which can make someone inside ill."

Consie also recommends keeping an explosive gas detector on hand, saying they come in combination with most carbon monoxide detectors in stores and can help people discover a leak that they cannot see or smell.

Along with heating safety, anglers should always make sure the ice is safe enough to be out on.

"You need solid clear ice – at least four inches- before you want to walk on it," said Consie "5 or 6 if you want to put an ice house on it and at least 8 if you want a light truck on it."

And in the case of emergency, it’s important to have gear like ice picks and floatation suits that can help you should you fall in the water.