YAPHANK - As the Fourth of July approaches, the Suffolk County Police Department is issuing safety advice to residents, especially when it comes to the dangers of illegal fireworks.
Chief of Police Stuart Cameron reminded Long Islanders that the use and possession of fireworks — including sparklers — is illegal.
To emphasize the danger, Suffolk police detonated a cache of fireworks in a small building during a controlled event.
"You can imagine the peril that the fire department members would be in if they responded to a house fire or a structure that is full of fireworks," Cameron said.
Police also said they are cracking down on people who go out of state and come back with stockpiles of fireworks. Recently, they said they arrested an Oakdale man for trying to sell $2,000 of fireworks out of his home.
"Leave it to the professionals," said Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini. "You'll be better off safety wise, and certainly you'll be on the right side of the law."
Fireworks can be very dangerous, he added. They can seriously injure or maim.
Police also said they would crack down on drunken driving and boating during the holiday weekend with extra patrols on the roads and the water.