15 February 2016

The University of Queensland is harnessing mobile technology to improve student and staff safety.

The SafeZone smart phone app (by CriticalArc) connects students and staff directly to the UQ Security team or emergency services for on-campus first-aid or emergencies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Property and Facilities Director Alan Egan said the app would not only make it easier for UQ Security to respond to emergency situations quickly, but also for the University to alert SafeZone app users about any safety issues on campus.

“Through GPS, the app allows security staff to become aware of someone’s location, talk to them directly and arrange immediate assistance,” he said.

“The app is available any time at UQ’s St Lucia, Gatton and Herston (excluding RBWH) campuses and the Long Pocket, PACE, Pinjarra Hills, Indooroopilly Mine and Moreton Bay Research Station sites, providing the user has mobile phone or wifi coverage.”

SafeZone will improve emergency response and communication during critical incidents such as lockdowns and natural disasters by sending push notifications to users’ mobile devices.

Independent contractors working on campus will also be encouraged to register for SafeZone.

Although SafeZone uses location-based tracking, it does not track a user’s location until an emergency alarm is activated or a call is made for help or first-aid.

“When the user is within one of the defined areas, the campus security team will respond to the alarm or call,” Mr Egan said.

If the SafeZone app is activated at sites without 24/7 security – Long Pocket, PACE, Pinjarra Hills, Indooroopilly Mine and Moreton Bay Research Station – it will connect the user directly with emergency services instead of UQ Security.

If SafeZone is activated outside the defined zones the app will dial “000”.   

SafeZone will complement existing security infrastructure, including 788 security cameras, 72 emergency call points, a UniSafe night bus service at St Lucia, UniSafe night escorts, 24-hour security patrols and published preferred paths for after-dark travel.

SafeZone is available for iPhones, Android and Windows phones. Download the SafeZone app using one of the links below:

For more information visit www.pf.uq.edu.au/unisafe/uqsafezone/

Media: Caroline Bird, UQ Communications,  c.bird1@uq.edu.au, 07 3365 1130