SafeZone is our mobile app designed to give you extra peace of mind on campuses across the city or living in accommodation.
The SafeZone app is free to download and easy to use. You can use it to:
- 'Check in' any time of day – tell us where you are on campus 24/7
- Quickly and discreetly call for assistance – whether it’s for first aid or in an emergency
- Keep up to date – notifications sent directly to your phone if there is an incident on campus
- Contact our COVID-19 helpline – ask questions, report concerns or inform us of a positive COVID-19 test
You can use SafeZone to call for help in areas of Fallowfield and Victoria Park, The University of Manchester campus, Manchester Metropolitan University campus and University of Salford campus. Any student can use the SafeZone app to get assistance on any of these campuses - no matter which university you attend. The app will directly connect you to the appropriate safety/security team or first responder for that area, who will provide the assistance you need. This is known as the 'Manchester SafeZone Alliance.'
Map: SafeZone areas
How to use SafeZone
Tap the red emergency button to send an alert to Security if your personal safety (or that of someone near you) is threatened, and you need an immediate emergency response.
Request first aid via the green button if you or someone near you requires minor medical assistance.
If you press a button in error, you can cancel the alert by tapping the button again while the timer is winding down. Once the alert is sent, your location will be displayed on a map for our Security team to see. You will then be given the option to call Security. If you don't do this, they will call you to determine how best to respond.
Please call 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency or if you or someone you’re with requires immediate medical attention.
Use the blue button to contact our COVID-19 helpline if you have a question about COVID-19 or the University’s safety arrangements, or you want to report a positive COVID-19 test. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
You can also use the app to 'check in' and share your location once you arrive on campus, then 'check out' when you leave. This does not raise an alert, but may be used to let people know where you are, especially if you’re working alone or out of hours.
You can set the app to automatically check you in and out by going to Settings > Check-in Settings > Allow Automatic Check-in.
- Search for 'SafeZone' on Google Play or the App Store and download.
- Open the app, enter your University of Manchester email address, and select The University of Manchester from the top of the screen.
- Complete the required details - your name, phone number, and password. For security reasons your password should be different to the password you use for any other University accounts.
- To use the app in all the 'Manchester Alliance' areas, go to the main menu (top left) and select 'SafeZone Alliance.'
- Complete the form and tap 'Sign Up.' You’ll then be prompted to accept some additional terms and you’ll be taken back to the main screen of the app as a user of the SafeZone Alliance.
- Pressing the map icon (top right) will show all the areas the app covers, where you can raise an alert. If you’re outside these zones, the app will still help by providing your GPS location and prompting you to call 999 in the event of an emergency.
- Only when an individual calls for help is the identity and location of that person shared with the university’s security team.
Frequently asked questions
You can use the blue COVID-19 button on the app to get through to our COVID-19 helpline. If you have tested positive or are showing symptoms, the helpline will be able to signpost you to our online e-form to complete and notify the University, who can arrange additional support for you.
Your location information is only shared when the app is active and when you have either activated an alert or ‘check-in’. Your location is only visible when you choose to share it. Once you leave campus tracking stops and your location is not available to the University.
Your location data records are kept for 21 days to ensure that notifications can be sent to people you were near in the period people are symptomatic according to the current scientific advice. After this period these records are deleted and no longer available.
No, SafeZone is completely optional and is simply intended as a more efficient and responsive way of communicating with the Security team and for added peace of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We encourage staff and students to use the app, but you are under no obligation to download or register it. If you do download the app and activate location tracking by checking-in, you are consenting to the recording of your location data.
SafeZone is not designed to replace the NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 app and we encourage you to continue to use this on and off campus.
Your recorded location data will only be used to track those near you in the event you report coronavirus symptoms to the University or receive a positive test result.
In addition, real-time location data may also be used to send notifications to remind people about social distancing where a building is crowded, and safety may be jeopardised. If you contact Security, they will also use your real-time location data to find you to administer help.
Your location data recorded in the SafeZone app will not be used for any other purposes. We will not use it for any sort of management or student discipline purpose or to check your attendance, nor can we do so according to the contract the University has with CriticalArc, the company responsible for the SafeZone app.
All existing Security contact numbers remain operational and are supported. In addition to SafeZone, we recommend you save the relevant contact numbers you need within your phone address book.
SafeZone requires your name, University email and phone number to function. You can also add any information you may want the Security team to know in the event of an emergency (ie if you have a medical condition).
The University has a contract with CriticalArc which states that they act as the University’s Data Processor. This means that the University is the Data Controller for the personal data collected and stored via the SafeZone app and it remains legally responsible for the uses it makes of this data. The legal basis for the processing of your personal data in the SafeZone app is that the processing is necessary for the purposes of the University’s legitimate interests. These interests relate to the fact that we have a duty of care to students and staff, and the collection of personal data in the SafeZone app both for general safety and for Covid-19 related purposes is one way we can achieve this. You choose whether or not to download the app and to use the location services.
You can find out further information about how SafeZone uses your personal data from the CriticalArc SafeZone privacy notice. To learn more about how the University uses your personal data and to understand your rights please see our privacy notices.