NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The Suffolk County Police Department blew up a tool shed in an empty parking lot Tuesday to show how easily something can go wrong when storing or handling fireworks, which are illegal in New York.
Nationwide in 2015, 11 people were killed in connection with fireworks. An estimated 8,000 people were also treated in emergency rooms that year over a 30-day period including the Fourth of July.
"Last year we had a kid who was holding a blockbuster in his hands. He lit it and it went off faster than he thought and he lost four of his fingers," Deputy Inspector Donald Raber said.
Officials said sparklers that can burn up to 2,000 degrees are the No. 1 burn injury for children. They urged parents to set an example.
SkyFoxHD was over the scene of a fire in the Bronx last week that damaged homes and left several people injured. Illegal fireworks sparked the fire, the FDNY said.
Police released aerial drone video of the shed explosion. The message from officials: Leave fireworks to the professionals.
"People are shooting fireworks off already," Mastic Beach Fire Commissioner Bill Biondi said. "If the ground is dry we're constantly going out for brush fires."
The holiday weekend is longer this year because the 4th of July falls on a Tuesday. Fireworks are not the only concern. Police are stepping up patrols for driving and boating while intoxicated. Since 2010, more than 30 percent of crashes have involved alcohol, police said.
"Last year we arrested 54 drivers for DWI on 4th of July weekend, we arrested a boater for BWI," Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said. "This year, we will be out there in full force."
Police arrested 17 people last year for illegally possessing or using fireworks.
"Our message is: 'Be safe, leave it to the professionals, and don't die on the 4th of July,'" Sini said.