EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– For Central New Yorkers Fourth of July weekend is the official start of summer. School’s out and the whole family is enjoying barbecues, swimming, and fireworks. 

But those big booms you see in the sky aren’t legal for sale here in New York State.

“The legal ones all stay on the ground, the tallest is probably about 15 feet high,” TNT Firework tent owner Earl Auslander said. 

It’s been that way since 2014 when ground-based fireworks like party poppers, snappers, and handheld wood sparklers became legal, but products like firecrackers, skyrockets, and roman candles are still against the law. 

“So if you do cross state borders and bring them back you do run the risk of technically being arrested for that.”

Lieutenant Matt Malinowski, Syracuse Police Department

To help make lighting off fireworks safer, Auslander is now selling a product called a hot shot that allows you to clip an igniter to the fuse and use an app on your phone to ignite the firework up to 100 feet away. 

“If you’re gonna let them off in a backyard always, I always keep a bucket of water or a garden hose next to it, you never know,” Auslander said. 

He also advises customers to keep children away from the fireworks, light them off in an open field when possible, and keep them away from houses, cars, or other items that can light on fire. 

Lt. Malinowski said an additional weekend patrol will be added to dedicate specific officers to finding illegal fireworks and responding to noise complaints.