Orlando Safety Information
As the No. 1 travel destination in the U.S., Orlando takes the matter of safety extremely seriously. The destination is privileged to have an extraordinary infrastructure of major public and private entities working together to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors alike.
Below is information about our region’s robust safety measures, as well as safety tips for travelers.
Throughout Orlando, our businesses, health experts and local governments are working together to ensure your health and safety. On our Healthy Travel & What’s Open Information page, you’ll find trusted, up-to-date information about how to have a healthy visit to Orlando.
Learn more: Healthy Travel in Orlando
Local authorities and Orlando’s tourism community have a collaborative approach to maintaining a safe, secure environment, based on the expertise of hosting millions of visitors every year. Furthermore, these measures continuously evolve, including an ongoing focus on enhanced prevention, technological advances and information-sharing capabilities.
For example, within the International Drive tourism district, 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 Orlando region’s collaborative safety infrastructure include:
- Shared Intelligence: Regular meetings bring together Orlando’s 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 technology, Orlando’s tourism businesses receive up-to-date alerts, recent developments and security tips.
- Visible and Discreet Measures: While many Orlando security protocols are visible, others are intentionally discreet. For instance, while you might see visible on-duty law enforcement officers at any given moment, numerous off-duty officers are also providing added security at private businesses.
- Tourist-Oriented Policing Sectors (TOPS): Orlando’s most popular tourism corridor — a 78-square-mile (202-square-kilometer) area that encompasses the overall International Drive and Lake Buena Vista areas — 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 (OCSO) and the Orlando Police Department.
- Member officers provide high visibility to deter crime, conduct routine security checks, patrol the area, and offer friendly assistance to Orlando visitors.
- The program has been in place for decades and has been replicated in other communities.
- Get more information about the TOPS program.
- Additional Information: Get details from the OCSO about frequently asked questions regarding tourist safety and security.
Orlando takes an extremely proactive role in education, prevention and monitoring for mosquito-borne illnesses. To date, 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, who take mosquito-control efforts very seriously.
The broad, proactive programs at Orlando’s local businesses include comprehensive grounds maintenance, landscaping, mowing and ongoing elimination of standing water. These efforts have had a positive impact on preventing the breeding of mosquitos, 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 designed to enhance our visitor experience.
For more information on Orlando’s mosquito-control efforts, visit Orange County Mosquito Safety.
Whether it’s beautiful sandhill cranes or the elusive Florida panther, Central Florida’s animal population is diverse and plentiful. However, visitors are advised to take safety precautions while in any outdoor setting. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission offers the following tips:
- Please avoid feeding or harassing wildlife of any kind, especially bears and alligators.
- Florida state law prohibits the killing, possession or harassment of alligators.
- Alligators and snakes can be found not just in the wild, including lakes, rivers and marshes, but also in residential neighborhoods and golf courses.
- When near any fresh or brackish water, be aware of the possibility of reptilian wildlife.
- Never leave children or pets unsupervised near water.
- Do not swim at night or in areas not designated for swimming.
- Adhere to all signage indicating that water access, including swimming and wading, is not permitted.
If you plan on operating a motor vehicle while visiting Orlando, please be aware that Florida state law requires the use of safety belts by all front seat passengers.
- All passengers under the age of 18 must be belted in either the front or back seat of the vehicle.
- Passengers ages 4 through 5 must be secured in either a federally approved child-restraint seat or a safety belt.
- Passengers ages 3 and under must be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat.
- Passengers 18 years of age or older can be individually fined if they are not buckled up.
Additionally, Florida’s Move Over law requires drivers to move over one lane for stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation and utility-service vehicles, as well as tow trucks and wreckers.
- If safety considerations preclude you from moving over one lane, or if you are on a two-lane road, you are required to slow to a speed that is 20 mph or less under the posted speed limit.
- If the posted speed limit is 20 mph or less, slow to 5 mph.
Finally, Florida state law prohibits the use of hazard lights, or “flashers,” while operating a motor vehicle — including during severe weather. Hazard lights should only be used when your vehicle is at a complete stop. If you feel unsafe while driving in rain or other weather conditions, please pull over until the weather has passed or drive at an appropriately reduced speed.
Every year, deputies at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office respond to dozens of drowning and near-drowning incidents. If children are in the pool, always keep an eye on them and never assume someone else is watching. Watch this video to learn more.
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 your 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 inside the safe at your 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 cellphone number to your children in case you are separated.
- For emergencies, dial 911.