Ice that forms over moving water such as a river or stream is always weaker ice. You should take extra precaution in these situations to ensure that the ice is at least 6" thick.
Locals are almost always happy to lend a hand. Everybody wants everybody to be safe. Sign up on local fishing forms to get the latest information on your local lake ice conditions. Just don't expect people to give their favorite go to spot.
The best piece of safety gear you never want to use. These two sharp spikes are connected by a rope and hang around your neck. In case you fall through the ice and into the water you use these to puncher the ice and pull yourself out. Watch the following video to learn exactly what to do in case you fall through the ice.
It is good practice to always bring a fishing buddy. Someone to lend a hand or talk you out of a bad idea.
You may need many different layers. Depending if you are fishing in the open air, in a tent, with or without a heater. Be sure have enough layers for the coldest option.