How SafeZone works
Find out how SafeZone works including how to raise an alert and check-in.
Watch: how SafeZone works
How to request assistance from the University's security services.
If you or someone near you requires medical assistance. Tap the First Aid button to send your alert to Security Services. If pressed in error, the alert can be cancelled by tapping the button again, whilst the timer is winding down. Once the alert is sent your location will be displayed on a map for the Security Officers to see.
You will then get the option to call Security. If you do not do this, then a Security Officer will call you, so that they can determine how best to respond to your location and situation. The officer will talk to you about what is happening. You should try to explain what help you need, and if practical confirm your location. An officer will then come to your location to provide first-aid. You may still need to identify yourself to officers when they arrive.
For general non-emergency enquiries or support - direct contact to Security Services.
If you or someone near you requires an immediate emergency response because you feel your personal safety or others is threatened. Tap the Emergency button to send your alert to Security Services. If pressed in error, the alert can be cancelled by tapping the button again, whilst the timer is winding down. Once the alert is sent your location will be displayed on a map for the Security Officers to see.
You will then get the option to call Security Services. If you do not do this, then a Security Officer will call you so that they can determine how best to respond to your location and situation. The officer will talk to you about what is happening. You should try to explain what help you need, and if practical confirm your location. An officer will then come to your location and assess the situation. You may still need to identify yourself to the officers when they arrive.
Notifications from the University's security services
SafeZone uses high-speed push messaging to allow Security Services to send you important notifications in the case of an emergency or critical incident on campus. Notifications may be accompanied by a loud alarm sound or in some circumstances, silent with a buzz. Be sure to follow any directions you are given, and where provided, tap ‘Open Link’ for further advice.
Lone workers check-in
Manual check in
If you are working alone, outside normal hours, or are entering a high-risk work environment, SafeZone allows you to check-in to share your location with members of the Security team. The Icon will change to a 'checked' icon, and you will receive a confirmation message that you have been 'Checked-In'.
If you do this, your location and ID will be displayed on a map to Security Services to see for the duration of your Check-In session.
SafeZone will automatically finish your session as you leave the Region boundary, or you can Check-Out again at any time by tapping the button again.
Check in timer
You can also set a check-in timer, which checks you in (the same as Manual Check-In) and then starts a countdown timer to cover the duration of your work session.
The Timer will count down to zero, starting from your nominated time. At any time, you can tap the Timer to cancel or re-set the time, and you can also Check Out.
You will receive a Warning push message at '5 minutes to go', when you can re-set the time, cancel the Timer or Check Out. You will receive another reminder at 2 minutes to go.
If the Timer expires, SafeZone will raise an Alert, showing your location and ID on a map to Security Services, who will then attend your location to ensure that you are ok.
Automatic check in
With your permission, your phone can be set to 'Check you in' whenever you move into a specially designated region on campus. Subject to you granting Auto-Check In permission, your phone will check you in or out, based on your current location. Location is updated at a low frequency to minimise battery impact. Auto Check-In does not require SafeZone to be running, your Check-In status is managed by the phone’s operating system. You can disable this feature at any time, which will stop the phone doing location checks.
- If you have activated the Automatic Check-ins option, you will receive a Push Notification each time your phone Checks you in as you enter compatible Regions.
- The check in function sends location updates about every 5 minutes, so as not to have any significant impact on your battery usage.
- A single Check In session can last for up to 2 hours.
- You must have been Signed In to SafeZone and not Signed Out (the app can be in the background, or completely 'killed')
- Auto check in will keep working until you return to the settings screen and disable 'Allow Automatic Check In', which you can do at any time.
If you do not own a smartphone or tablet, SafeZone can be accessed through a desktop version, based on an individual assessment.
Features, devices and technical support
Show my location
The SafeZone app can show you where you are on a map. Your location will be displayed as a Blue dot with a white border. You can change the way the map works, for example, the map has Controls to display different maps:
- Street Map.
- Satellite map, and
- Satellite map with street names.
- You can change the way the map moves:
- Static mode-oriented North (no following).
- Follow Me mode-oriented North, and
- Compass mode (map oriented to your direction of movement).
To ensure you get the maximum benefit from using the SafeZone app, please check the following:
- Location settings– needs to be enabled.
- On Android set location to 'High Accuracy' to work correctly.
- Open your device settings – Tap Security & Location > Location.
- Note: If you don’t see 'Security and Location', tap Location.
- Tap Mode, then pick – High Accuracy.
- On iPhone set to ON to work properly.
- Open your device settings – Tap Privacy > Location Services. Make sure it is set to ON.
- Connectivity – SafeZone needs to be connected to a strong Wi-Fi or cellular data signal to be able to send alerts and record check-ins. If no cellular data or Wi-Fi is available, the app will attempt to send alerts via SMS.
- Software updates – SafeZone operates best when running with the latest version of the software. To see which version you are running, open the SafeZone menu found in the app on the left-hand side.
- Registration – Once you have signed up for SafeZone you need to fully complete the registration process to be able to use the app. You will receive an email to your University of Stirling email account which will prompt you to complete registration.
- Device compatibility – SafeZone currently runs on the following phones and tablets:
- iPhone (iOS v12.2+)
- Android phones (Android v6.0+)
- SafeZone currently runs on iPads or Android tablets. However, as most tablets do not have a standard SIM-based incoming voice call capability (i.e., no phone number), we recommend an iPhone or Android phone as your primary sign-up device.
- If you don’t have a smartphone: but you do have a mobile phone and a tablet or iPad, use that device to sign up but put your separate mobile phone’s number in as your contact number.
- Notification settings – these need to be enabled for SafeZone to operate properly, and you will be prompted for this when installing the app.
- Motion detection and fitness permission is required to cut down on battery use when it is active. This appears when you first check in.
If you think your SafeZone app is not performing as it should, please take a screenshot of your SafeZone diagnostics (found in the menu on the left-hand side) and send it to SafeZone@stir.ac.uk along with a description of the problem you are experiencing.
SafeZone is most effective when used from a mobile device. This allows a user to be able to summon help or support where ever they are on campus. When activated from a mobile device, SafeZone send a geo-located alert to all SafeZone responders who are instantly able to see a user’s location and will move towards that location. Using SafeZone on a mobile device also allows responders to be able to contact the user as soon as they activate the SafeZone app to establish what help or support is required.
As SafeZone is best used on a mobile device, the use of the desktop version of SafeZone the University of Stirling will only be made available for those who have a legitimate business need for this.
If you have a legitimate business need for the desktop version of SafeZone, this can be installed on a UoS managed PC, following approval from your line manager
Requests for the desktop version of SafeZone should then be submitted to SafeZone@stir.ac.uk
Wearable devices - V.ALRT Bluetooth distress button
V.ALRT is a wireless duress button that can raise a SafeZone Alert via your phone (when it’s within range of your phone – up to 25m – and SafeZone is running on the phone). The button works with both iOS and Android versions of SafeZone.
V.ALRT Duress buttons can be purchased from Criticalarc.
The V.ALRT User Guide on configuring and using the button with your SafeZone app from the SafeZone website.
You can Pair or Unpair your button at any time, see the User guide link above for details. In order to raise an Alert, your button must be paired with your phone, and the SafeZone App must be running on your phone (it can be running in background mode). Use the 'Alert Devices' Menu option in the SafeZone App to pair or unpair your button.
The button should ideally be located no more than 10-15m from your phone. If you are working at the distance limit, you may find that the device is pairing and unpairing repeatedly, which has a negative impact on the button’s battery life. In that case, move your phone closer to your button’s location.
Wearable devices - Apple watch
Apple Watch pairs with your iPhone using Bluetooth and compatible wifi. The Watch brings several advantages over the V.ALRT button:
- SafeZone runs as an app on the Watch, which is auto installed when you install SafeZone on your paired phone.
- You can select the type of Alert you want to raise and carry out phone calls with Responders via the Watch.
- Your Watch can still raise an Alert up to 100m from your iPhone (with compatible Wi-Fi).
- SafeZone app does not need to be running on the iPhone for Watch to raise an Alert (you do need to be Signed In).
Read more about using the Apple Watch with your SafeZone app on the SafeZone website.
SafeZone does not track your location. You only become visible on the system once you have raised an alert or checked in. Read about SafeZone's privacy provisions.
Using SafeZone off campus - travelling
If you activate your SafeZone app away from any of the UoS locations, anywhere in the world then you will be automatically directed to the local emergency services (999 equivalent) where you are. Using SafeZone to contact local emergency services when outside of a campus area will also notify the Security team at the Stirling campus who will contact you to see if you need any additional support from the University.
Does SafeZone cost anything to use?
The app is free to download, however users may incur data charges if using the app when not connected to Wi-Fi. On campus, all students and staff can get free Wi-Fi access through Eduroam.
Please get in touch with feedback, including suggestions for enhancements, questions and support requests.