UNSW SafeZone

Staff using Safezone app
  • SafeZone is in a new mobile application that will help keep our UNSW community safe. Its primary purpose is to offer our staff and students the following benefits:

    • Access to personalized emergency assistance without delay (Emergency Alert, First Aid or Non urgent matters)
    • A direct line to the UNSW Security Operations Centre who can deploy appropriate emergency resources
    • Prompt notifications regarding safety issues in the vicinity.

    Personal information may be used to contact staff and students as a community members in the event of an emergency or crisis.

    Staff and students who are not registered in SafeZone as a user may still receive a message in the event of an emergency or crisis.

    Note: The emergency notification system is not new for students and staff. It's already in place to activate necessary communication during emergencies. This feature is part of the existing safety setup and is not a recent addition.

  • Download the app by visiting safezoneapp.com or directly via the App Store (apple.com) and Google Play.

    Once you have downloaded the app, continue with the SafeZone registration:

    1. Click on the SafeZone app icon and select 'Sign Up'
    2. Follow the prompts – you will need to enter your name, UNSW e-mail address, create a password, and provide your name and mobile number. Optional: you can also upload a profile picture. This is helpful when the UNSW Security team receives your alert and needs to identify you.
    3. Accept the End User Licence Agreement of the app provider, CriticalArc Pty Ltd (CriticalArc).  By doing so you are agreeing to CriticalArc and their third party service providers processing your personal information.

      Note: For people who do not have a zID, please refer to the SafeZone Non zID user registration guide.
    Essential Information for Registration and Privacy Matters
    • If you have any problems with registration, contact us via safezone@unsw.edu.au 
    • If you do not complete the registration process in the app, UNSW Security will not receive your alerts.
    • Your personal information may be used to reach out to you as a member of the UNSW community in case of an emergency or crisis. It is crucial for both staff and students to keep their personal details updated via myUNSW to ensure you receive accurate and timely information during emergencies or crises.
    • Location services must be turned on to use the SafeZone app. SafeZone's use of location services has been designed to minimise battery use. UNSW does not track your location until you press the check-in timer or raise an alert such as pressing the Emergency, Non Urgent or First Aid button. Note: At UNSW students and staff are not required to use the check-in functionality.
    • The University has engaged a third party to provide the SafeZone app (CriticalArc Pty Ltd).  The agreement stipulates that the University is the Controller of all data collected via the app, and that CriticalArc may only process such data on the instructions of the University and in compliance with all applicable privacy laws.
    • Staff and students who are not registered as users in SafeZone may receive messages during emergencies or crises, as long as they have not chosen to opt out of receiving such communications via myUNSW.
  • The Emergency button should be used by UNSW staff and students:

    • If you feel threatened
    • If someone is threatening or has just threatened you
    • If you have been assaulted or are the victim of a robbery
    • If you are injured or require urgent medical assistance
    • If you see another person in any of the above situations who needs help

    Note: Safety hazards and incidents should be reported through Salus.

  • Use the First Aid call (green button) if you, or someone else requires first aid treatment. A qualified first aid officer will be dispatched to your location to assist.

  • The non urgent button should be used by UNSW staff and students:

    • If you want a safety escort after dark
    • If you identify a potential security concern
    • If you have immediate concerns regarding something that could impact emergency response (eg. blocked fire exit, leaking fire hydrant, missing fire extinguisher)
    • If you are uncomfortable making an emergency alert
    • Other scenario where Security should be contacted
  • If you press the Emergency, First Aid button outside of the UNSW SafeZone coverage areas your phone will tell you that you are outside the zone and offer you a single-click button to dial triple zero '000' for emergency services (Police, Fire or Ambulance). If you press the Non-Urgent button while outside of UNSW, you will be put through to UNSW Security. At this point you can cancel the call or continue with the call.

  • At UNSW, downloading SafeZone is voluntary, although we highly recommend you download and register for the app. Our utmost concern is the safety and security of our students, staff, and visitors. Using SafeZone helps us to provide our students, staff, and visitors with a safe and secure environment.

  • SafeZone is set to become the official security and wellbeing app for UNSW and phasing out the use of StaySafe in the future. The ongoing project is currently assessing which features from StaySafe will be integrated into SafeZone. Initial feature transfers are anticipated early 2024 with additional features becoming available later in 2024.

  • The emergencyplus app is a free app developed by Australia’s emergency services and their Government and industry partners. The app uses GPS functionality built into smart phones to help a Triple Zero (000) caller provide critical location details required to mobilise emergency services.

    We recommend that if you need emergency assistance while you are on campus, you use the SafeZone app.

  • If you accidentally press a SafeZone call button, you can stop the call by tapping it again while the timer is counting down. If the call has already been sent, you can cancel it, although security will contact you to make sure you're safe. Please respond to their call or message to confirm your well-being.

  • Your call will be answered by the Security Operations Centre  who manage  Emergency Response across UNSW.  Wherever you are on campus, pressing the Emergency, First-Aid, or Help button will connect you with someone who will be able to offer you support. Alerts via the SafeZone app will be sent to you by the most appropriate people who can handle your needs. In most cases, this will be the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) and Security team.

  • When your alert is triggered the Security Operations Centre will be alerted instantly and a responder will be dispatched to your location. The response time depends on how close you are to the responders' locations. This would typically take around 4-6 minutes as long as responders are given the correct location details.  

  • Students at UNSW do not need to check-in as a SafeZone users. Please don’t tap on the Check-in button on the app.

    If you are working alone or late at night, it is recommended that you use the Check-in timer feature. Use this feature to:  

    • Set a pre-alarm, which will activate if it runs down and is useful if working alone, walking through campus late at night, if walking to the car late at night or entering a hazardous or volatile environment
  • In an emergency or major event, the University 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

    Notifications or alerts will be created by the UNSW Emergency Management Unit and/or the UNSW Security Operations Centre, or Critical Incident Team.

  • When you download SafeZone to your smartphone you will be asked to agree to the SafeZone End User License Agreement. You will also be asked to provide your UNSW email address, your name, and a password. Additionally, you may optionally provide other information and a face photo. UNSW encourages all users to upload a face photo as this helps UNSW Security to identify you when responding to your alert. This is not a mandatory requirement.

    All information provided by users of SafeZone is held in an onshore high security data centre. All data transmissions are encrypted. The agreement between the University and CriticalArc stipulates that the University is the Controller of all data collected via the app, and that CriticalArc may only process such data on the instructions of the University and in compliance with all applicable privacy laws.

    The Manner in which the University uses personal information collected through SafeZone is consistent with the uses set out in the:

    Only UNSW security and emergency personnel who require access to perform their roles will have access to the data collected by SafeZone.

    Note: Users who don’t have a zID will receive an activation email sent to their UNSW email address for action.

    Recommended activities:

  • SafeZone only tracks your location when you activate an Alert button (Emergency, First-Aid, or Non-urgent). As part of the End User Licence, you agree for use of your location information by UNSW to expedite our response to your raised Alert. During an Alert, your phone's location will be tracked by SafeZone until such time as the Alert is cancelled, whether by you or by the University.

    The Check-in timer feature updates the University on your presence. The system logs location details during Alerts and Check-ins for incident records, analysis, and training. SafeZone has safeguards to prevent unauthorized tracking.

  • Some of these will be configured for you as part of the registration process, which will ask your permission before changing any settings. 

    • Location Services Enabled – you will be prompted for this when installing the App
    • Wi-Fi enabled – having Wi-Fi enabled (without even being connected to a network) will significantly improve the accuracy of the location information sent by your device.
    • Wi-Fi connected to the Uniwide network – being connected to the campus Wi-Fi will help ensure that your alert will be sent, even if your mobile service provider does not have coverage where you are on campus.
  • Certainly, if you believe you require an immediate emergency services response, it is crucial to contact them. Additionally, please inform UNSW Security through SafeZone so that the team can help facilitate access for the 000 emergency responders. UNSW Security will ensure a faster response by assisting with access routes that may not be known to or accessible by 000 respondents, for example bollards need to be removed or access through a secured door.

  • Currently, the SafeZone app is applicable across all Sydney Metro campuses. We will collaborate with other UNSW campuses to extend the availability of SafeZone to ensure their inclusion in the future.

    To check which UNSW campuses are covered by SafeZone follow the following steps:

    1. Open the SafeZone app on your mobile devise
    2. Tap on the menu icon (three horizontal lines) on the top left hand side corner
    3. Select the Regions navigation item.

    4. A list of UNSW locations will display.
  • If you are an existing user, simply download and install SafeZone and tap the icon to start the app. Sign in with your UNSW email address and password.

  • It is critical to keep your contact details up to date so that in the event of an emergency the Security team can easily identify and contact you. Staff and students can update their details in myUNSW - Login (unsw.edu.au), under Student or Staff Profile > Personal details.

  • The current version of the SafeZone app is compatible with:

    Apple Devices:

    • iPhone - Requires iOS 12.2 or later.
    • iPod Touch - Requires iOS 12.2 or later.
    • Apple Watch

    Available from Apple iTunes Store.

    Android Smartphones: 

    • Android phones* (Android v6+) 

    Available from Google Play.

    Be sure to have location services and Wi-Fi enabled to allow the app to work most effectively

  • SafeZone incorporates various functionalities aimed at enhancing battery efficiency.

    To minimize location polling (subject to your device's permissions), the app employs motion and activity detection. 

    For optimal use, most users are advised to stick with the 'default' activity profile settings.

    Additionally, it's recommended to shift SafeZone to the background after check-in or when not actively in use. 

  • Multi-Factor Authentication is a requirement at UNSW for all students and staff (including casuals and affiliates), i.e., everyone with a current zID account. MFA provides an additional layer of security to help protect the University and your account from unauthorised access.

    UNSW uses the Microsoft Authenticator app, which needs to be installed on your smartphone before completing the MFA registration on your computer. Once set up, MFA will periodically prompt you to verify your sign-in to single sign-on (SSO) applications such as Outlook, Moodle, and SharePoint. 

    For more information about MFA at UNSW visit Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) | UNSW IT | UNSW Sydney page.

    Note: SafeZone does not support the YubiKey Authenticator.

  • SafeZone support the following languages:

    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Dutch
    • Welsh
    • Spanish
    • Portuguese
    • Chinese (Simplified)
    • Chinese (Traditional)
    • Hindi

    To update your language preference, navigate to the language settings on your mobile device and make the necessary adjustments. Keep in mind that this modification will affect the language settings for all applications on your phone.

Have you found an answer to your question?

Visit the SafeZone website for more frequently asked questions or contact us via safezone@unsw.edu.au.