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safezone app 

The safety and wellbeing of students and staff is our top priority at UWS. We have introduced a new free smartphone app that promotes staff and student safety across all of our campuses. SafeZone enables users to call for help and assistance when they need it most, giving you fast access to security whenever and wherever you are on campus, and allows the University to send notifications to users, e.g. in the event of severe weather or building closure. SafeZone also allows you to easily check in and share your location on campus – helping with any contact tracing efforts on campus.

The main features of the app are:

  • Emergency alert – if you, or another person nearby, find themselves in a situation where their personal safety is threatened.
  • First Aid alert – if you or another person nearby needs medical assistance.
  • COVID-19 – to connect you to a local member of UWS staff to report any COVID-related issues on Campus. Students are reminded, however, that full, detailed information and support relating to COVID-19 is available on the regularly-updated Academic Year 20/21 welcome resource.

The app is now available to download from the App Store or Google Play.

Click below for a range of FAQ's on SafeZone and information on terms and conditions for the SafeZone iPad prize draw:

SafeZone FAQs

Getting Started

Why does SafeZone need to access my ‘Motion & Fitness Activity’?

The Motion & Fitness Activity permission allows the app to detect when you are moving and when you are stationary. This information allows it to pro-actively manage battery consumption so that, when stationary, location data is pulled less frequently.

What do I need to do to start using the service?

  1. Download the app
  2. Enter your organization's email address*
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your registration

You must complete your registration before you can begin using SafeZone

What devices does SafeZone run on?

Phones: SafeZone currently runs on:

  • iPhones (iOS v12+)
  • Android phones* (Android v6+) and
  • Windows PCs (a limited-functionality desktop version of SafeZone is available – contact your organization’s IT department for details).

IMPORTANT: SafeZone for Android requires Google Play Services for geo-location, push notifications, and to periodically wake the app. Google Play Services is supported by most Android devices. Newer Huawei devices (Mate 30 Series, Honor 30 Series and P40 Series, and later) are not supported due to restrictions on Huawei's ability to use Google apps and services. Blackberry 10 and Nokia X are only supported when Google Play Services is installed manually.

Tablets: 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 number in as your contact number.

How is my privacy protected?

SafeZone does not share a user’s location until they send an alert (emergency, first aid, or help), use the check-in or check-in timer features, or submit a tip-report that includes their location. All information that users provide as a SafeZone user is protected by Federal and State Privacy Laws. Read about our privacy provisions at  The UWS Privacy Impact Assessment is located HERE

Why does SafeZone need to Access my Location?

SafeZone needs to access your location in order to allow you to ‘Raise Alerts’, ‘Check In’, connect Bluetooth devices and signup. Note that your location is only shared when you raise an alert or check-in. Even then, your location is only shared with the UWS team of professional responders. Your right to privacy is always respected and you can cancel any alert or check-in at any time. We recommend this is set to “Always Allow Access”

Why do I need to “Always Allow Access” to location to be able to check in?

By always allowing access to location, you can check-in and then continue to use your phone as normal, minimizing SafeZone to the background and making calls, sending mail, using the internet and other apps. If “only while using” is selected, this is not possible and SafeZone would have to remain in the foreground. This causes additional battery-drain and stops your phone from being effective.

Can I disable automatic check-in?

When you arrive on any UWS campus, you will be automatically checked-in by default. This means your location will be shared with a small group of key colleagues while you are on campus only.

This helps ensure that you can receive emergency assistance as soon as possible should it be required, and also helps ensure you receive the correct guidance following any confirmed cases of Covid on campus.

If you would like to switch off automatic check-in, please:

1) Select the menu on the top left-hand side of the app
2) Go into ‘settings’
3) Use the toggle to disable automatic check-in

Will the app drain my battery?

SafeZone has a number of features designed to optimise battery usage.  Motion and activity detection limits the amount of location polling which is carried out (if allowed in your device’s permissions)

The app can have different activity profile settings, ‘default’ is recommended here for most users.

Also, remember to move SafeZone to the background once checked-in or when not being used.

Why does SafeZone need to send Notifications?

In an emergency or major event UWS may need to send you ‘Alerts’ through push notifications. These notifications may contain:

  • Information or instructions (in the case of emergencies) or
  • links to websites for further information
  • A request to Check-in

A Check-in request would be sent so that response teams know your location and can send appropriate follow-up messages based upon it (for example instructions to evacuate, lockdown or go to an area). It also allows the organization to co-ordinate its response teams getting them to the right areas.

Using the SafeZone App

What if I accidentally press a button?

If you accidentally press any SafeZone call button, you can cancel the call by tapping the button again while the “timer” is winding down. After the call (alert) has been sent, you can still cancel your request, but you will be contacted by security to ensure your safety.

Who will answer my call or alert?

UWS has configured your SafeZone app to send your alert or call to the most appropriate people who can handle your need.  If you are on any UWS Campus (Ayr, Dumfries, Lanarkshire, London, Paisley) by pressing the Emergency, First-Aid or Help button will put you in touch with the most appropriate person to address your immediate needs.

Who will see my check-in?

When you Check-In, your location (campus and building) and ID information is logged – this may be used in the event of an emergency or to support public health interventions related to COVID-19. If you need help, you will still need to press an alert button or make a Help call.

What if I am outside the SafeZone Area (off Campus)?

SafeZone will operate at any location, however if you raise a call or alert when you are outside one of the defined SafeZone areas, your app will offer you a single-tap call to local emergency services (e.g. in UK: 999).

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 WiFi. On campus, all students and staff can get free WiFi access through Eduroam.

Existing Users

SafeZone is not letting me Check In, it says that there are no SafeZone regions available or it just keeps circling when trying to Check In.

To check-in you first need to be inside a SafeZone Region. There is a list of locations available in the Regions section of the menu. For the check-in to work there needs to be data available (Wi-Fi, or network data) and the app needs to know your location within 200m. Android devices, especially, have a number of power saving options which reduce location accuracy.

A few things to check are:

  • That the "Location Mode" is set to high accuracy or similar
  • That battery optimisation or "Doze mode" is turned off for the SafeZone app (You can find this menu by searching “battery optimisation” in your phone’s settings menu)

Finally, please check that Google Play Services are turned on as SafeZone utilises them to ascertain location. If you are still having issues, you can contact us directly through Help & Support in the Contact section of

SafeZone iPad prize draw

All UWS students and staff who download the app and register for the service by the end of October – including those who have already downloaded it – will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win an iPad, one for staff and one for students. 

Terms and conditions are as follows:

  • To enter this draw you must be either a current member of staff or current enrolled student of the University of the West of Scotland ("UWS").
  • The draw will be open until 23.59 of the 31st October. No late entries will be considered.
  • If you win you will be notified by email (using your staff or student email account) on week beginning 2nd November. If you do not respond within 48 hours of being notified you will forfeit your prize and UWS reserves the right to choose another winner.
  • By entering the draw, winners may be asked to participate in such internal promotional activity as UWS may require.
  • No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize.
  • If the advertised prize is not available, we reserve the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.
  • UWS reserves the right to change the rules of this competition at any time.
Last updated: 21/10/2020