Home North America USA Is Florida Safe? A Safety Guide To The Sunshine State

Is Florida Safe? A Safety Guide To The Sunshine State

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Is Florida safe? Over 21 million people call Florida home and the state welcomes a whopping 126 million out-of-state visitors each year on average. With its world-famous theme parks, hidden mountain peaks, and warm beaches, it’s no secret as to why so many people flock to Florida.

With all these people circulating the state, crime and safety do come into question. And it’s not just that. Environmental factors, such as wildlife in Florida, are also something to consider when thinking about safety. After all, Florida is alligator central and on the hurricane path!

From North Palm Beach to Naples, Orlando to the Gulf Coast, Florida is a diverse state with a whole range of cultures coexisting. Wherever you plan to go, this guide on staying safe in Florida is a must-read. Crime rates across this North American state can be concerning at first. There are a few things visitors need to know before they set off singing Welcome to Miami, courtesy of Will Smith.

Is Florida safe right now? A general overview

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Crime rates in Florida have been concerning for many years. Over half of Floridians feel concerned for their daily safety according to surveys carried out by Safewise. Concerns are mostly about property crime, package theft, and violent crime. So how does this fear stack up against reality?

Floridian violent crime is just above the national average. The most common violent crime is aggravated assault – in 2019, there were over 1,400 cases in the safest cities in Florida and over 55,000 statewide. Florida’s violent crime rate also includes gun crime: 71% say that gun violence is their main concern and 48% worry about being personally involved in a gun violence incident.

However, all 50 of Florida’s safest cities have violent crime rates below the national and state average. And in fact, 27 of these safest cities have had zero murders over the last few years. Property crime across the Sunshine State has also been in decline due to the increase of home security systems being installed, among other reasons. Florida’s safest cities include:

  1. Marco Island
  2. Parkland
  3. Weston
  4. Winter Springs
  5. North Palm Beach

Is Florida a safe place to live?

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As a dreamy place to live, the question of safety and security is important to many. The most recent Annual Uniform Crime Report shows that Florida’s total crime rates have decreased by 14.1% over 2020-2021. Property crime rates had the most dramatic decline which is fantastic news if you are thinking about living in the Sunshine State. Overall, Florida is generally considered a safe place to live.

But it’s not just the crime rate that you need to think about. From dangerous animals to treacherous roads, these things are worth considering when thinking about safe living in Florida. Road rage is rife, traffic accidents are a common occurrence, and Floridians are notoriously known as bad drivers.

The wildlife in Florida is particularly wild. Alligators are often seen strolling through neighborhoods in the southern cities. While albeit rare, Florida has the highest rate of ‘gator attacks in the country, and obviously living in the area will increase your risk of an encounter. It’s not just the alligators to be wary of in Florida, as the state is also home to more deadly creatures, including:

  • red, black, and brown widow spiders;
  • panthers;
  • stingrays;
  • bony sturgeons;
  • venomous snakes;
  • and, deadly bacteria often found on seafood.

Is Florida safe for a solo female traveler?

A woman running alone into the ocean in Florida
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Traveling solo as a female always comes with added risks and potential complications regardless of where you are. Florida is generally a safe place for solo women travelers. But it never hurts to use common sense, as you would traveling any of the other states.

Avoid walking alone at night and stick to main roads where possible. If you do get lost, don’t make it obvious while on the streets, but equally don’t be afraid to ask for directions. When you’re in large cities, such as Miami, it’s important to remember there are shady neighborhoods that are best to avoid, especially after dark.

If you plan on sticking to main tourist hotspots, then you should not run into any trouble as a solo female traveler. Some of the safest places for a woman to travel solo include the major theme parks, the Florida Keys, and Miami’s South Beach. From the pristine beaches to the vibrant nightlife, Florida is a fantastic place for women to travel alone!

Is public transport safe in Florida?

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There are several transport options for travelers visiting Florida. Car rental is one of the most common modes of transport to get around at your own pace. But what about Florida’s public transport system? And more importantly, is it safe to use?

Rideshare apps and platforms such as Uber are becoming more and more popular. However, if you ever feel uncomfortable with sharing with strangers, you can ask your hotel to help organize fully licensed taxis from accredited firms.

Buses, trains, and shuttles connect cities across Florida. Pickpocketing, mugging, and violent crimes on public transport are practically unheard of in the state. Many people choose to use trams and shuttles within Miami to get around quickly, easily, and cheaply.

Is Florida safe at night?

The Orlando Eye at night in Florida
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On the whole, Florida is a safe enough state to explore after dark. Main tourist cities, like Orlando or Miami, will have shady neighborhoods that are probably best to avoid. But that is the same for everywhere around the world.

In fact, there are several night tours and activities across the state that are dedicated to after-dark exploration and experience. Here are some of the best things you can do in Florida at nighttime:

  1. Key West ghosts and gravestones trolley tour
  2. Sunset and night boat tour from Miami marina
  3. LED nighttime kayak adventures
  4. Helicopter rides over Orlando at night
  5. Ghost walking tour of St. Augustine

The nighttime lights offer a unique viewpoint and experience to seeing somewhere in the day. Many places in Florida come alive at night, such as the party scene. Just remember to be cautious heading back to your hotel after a few margaritas!

Is tap water safe to drink in Florida?

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Florida’s tap water has not always been drinkable. However, there are now strict federal and state laws on monitoring water contaminants to ensure the entire state has drinking water straight from the tap. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires that:

“…all chemicals added to drinking water and all system components that come in contact with drinking water be certified under ANSI/NSF Standards 60 and 61. These standards ensure that there are no harmful chemicals inadvertently added to the drinking water supply.”

However, Florida’s groundwater is incredibly vulnerable to contamination from things such as pesticides and leaking underground gasoline storage tanks. If the drinking water becomes contaminated for any reason, the local governments will issue a Boil Water notice, where citizens are instructed to boil their drinking water for at least one minute before using it.

Florida top 7 safety tips

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Overall, Florida is a fairly safe place for people to visit and live. However, it’s always a good idea to stay alert and keep your wits about you. Here are a few pointers to help you get to grips with staying out of trouble and keeping safe in Florida.

  1. Avoid walking alone at night – some downtown areas of larger cities, such as Miami, could be dangerous. Quiet and dark alleys are always recommended to avoid no matter which city you are in across the globe.
  2. Travel in a group – surrounding yourself with people reduces the risks of mugging and assault. It is also more fun!
  3. Research the area before booking the hotel – some downtown districts across Florida are notoriously rough and are not an ideal place to be vacationing. Do your research and read reviews on the hotel before booking.
  4. Don’t carry too much cash or flash any valuables – limit your fashion labels to avoid making yourself a target for pickpocketing and theft.
  5. Don’t approach wild animals – alligators, big cats, and venomous snakes call Florida home and will attack unprovoked or when disturbed.
  6. Never underestimate the sun – there is a reason why Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State. Temperatures can soar high above 90 ºF so be prepared with 30+ SPF lotion and stay hydrated.
  7. Be aware of changing weather – Florida is in direct line of the hurricane season throughout the summer months. Weather conditions can change suddenly and be dangerous in some cases. Always listen to local advice in regards to weather safety.