As the #1 travel destination in the U.S., we take the matter of safety extremely seriously. The Orlando destination is privileged to have an extraordinary infrastructure of major public and private entities working together to protect the health and safety of our residents and visitors alike.
Below is information about our region’s robust safety measures, as well as tips for travelers.
Local authorities and the tourism community have a collaborative approach to maintaining a safe, secure environment, based on the expertise of hosting millions of visitors a year.These measures continuously evolve, including an on-going focus on enhanced prevention, technological advances and information sharing capabilities. For example, within the International Drive tourist corridor there exists a model of collaboration between law enforcement and tourism partners that has been recognized across the country for its effectiveness.
Examples of the collaborative infrastructure across the region include:
- Shared Intelligence: Regular meetings bring together law enforcement agencies, tourism partners and private business security directors for intelligence briefings and educational sessions on crime trends, regulations and technology. Information from these meetings is then used to inform security protocols as needed.
- Crime Alert Technology: Using proprietary crime alert technology, tourism businesses receive up-to-date alerts, recent developments and security tips.
- Both visible and discreet measures: While many of the security protocols are visible, others are intentionally discreet. For instance, at any given moment there are a number of not only on-duty officers you may visibly see, but also off-duty officers who are providing added security at private businesses.
- The Tourist-Oriented Policing Sectors (TOPS): One of our most popular tourism corridors -- a 78-square-mile (202 square-kilometer) area that encompasses the overall International Drive area and Lake Buena Vista -- is home to a well-established, dedicated law enforcement unit focused specifically on safety.
- This unit provides a proactive, visible, law enforcement presence through a force of 150 deputies and officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department. They provide high visibility to deter crime, conduct routine security checks, patrol the area, and offer friendly assistance to Orlando visitors.
- This program has been in place for decades and has been replicated in other communities.
- For more information on the TOPS program, please visit here.
- For more details from the area's local law enforcement about how they keep the destination safe, please click here.
Mosquito Safety Considerations
Our destination takes an extremely proactive role in education, prevention and monitoring for mosquito-borne illnesses.
There have been no local, mosquito-borne transmissions of the Zika virus in Orlando.
Our region benefits from a twofold approach to prevention and management: the vigorous programs of Orange County’s mosquito control division plus the extensive programs of our tourism partners. Our local businesses take mosquito control efforts very seriously. Their broad proactive programs include comprehensive grounds maintenance, landscaping, mowing and on-going elimination of standing water. All this has a positive impact on preventing the breeding of mosquitoes, which experts confirm is the best way to prevent, isolate and control any transmissions.
Orlando’s tourism corridors are some of the most frequently managed areas for mosquito control, and we have had robust efforts in place for decades as part of enhancing our visitor experience.
Wildlife Safety Considerations
Whether it's beautiful Sandhill Cranes or the elusive Florida Panther, Central Florida's animal population is diverse and plentiful. However, visitors must take safety precautions while in any outdoor setting. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (www.myfwc.com), offers the following tips:
- Please avoid feeding or harassing wildlife of any kind, especially bears and alligators.
- State law prohibits the killing, possession or harassment of alligators.
- Alligators and snakes are not just found in the wild, but in lakes, rivers and marshes (even in residential neighborhoods and around golf courses). When near any type of fresh or brackish water, be aware of the possibility of this wildlife.
- Never leave children or pets unsupervised near water, and do not swim at night or in areas not designated for swimming.
Driving Safety Considerations
Florida's Safety Belt Law
- All front seat occupants must buckle up, even if the vehicle is equipped with an air bag.
- Passengers 18 years of age or older may be individually fined if they are not buckled up.
- For children and youth:
- Passengers under the age of 18 must be belted in either the front or back seat of the vehicle.
- Passengers aged 5 and under must be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat.
Overall Safety Tips
It is always good common sense to keep the following safety tips in mind when traveling:
- Always lock the front and/or patio doors when inside a hotel room and before leaving. Use the safety chain/lock for security.
- Never open the hotel room door unless you know who is there. If you did not call for the service offered by the person at the door, call hotel security or the front desk to see if they have sent someone to your room.
- Place valuables in a safety deposit box in your room or at the safe in the hotel office. Do not leave valuables in your car.
- When checking into a hotel, consult the floor plan map on the back of your room door to familiarize yourself with fire and emergency exits.
- When driving, keep all car doors locked.
- Give or pin your cell phone number to children in case you are separated.
- For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.