Questions and Answers

What is the emergency app for?

The emergency app has two main functions:

1. To provide alerts and information in the event of an emergency

UZH staff, students and visitors who have installed the app on their smartphones will receive alerts in the event of an emergency (threats, persons running amok, etc.) from the Office for Safety, Security and Environment. When emergency app users "check in", they receive location-specific information and instructions on procedure.

2. Call for help

UZH staff, students and visitors can raise an alarm via the app if they find themselves in an emergency situation or require help. The app provides the right emergency numbers based on the current location of the smartphone. Within UZH zones, these include UZH numbers (e.g. Service Center, in-house paramedics). Outside of UZH, a public emergency number is called (police, ambulance). The app functions worldwide and selects the relevant national emergency number.

Data privacy: What data is saved and where?

After one-off registration to the UZH Zone, all key geographical data related to UZH locations are transferred to the emergency app. Thereafter, the app requires no further connection to the Internet to detect whether you are in the UZH Zone. However, the app requires access to the position information of the mobile device (location is determined via GPS signal or position information from WLAN networks). The position information is evaluated on the device locally and not transferred to a server. Positioning data and personal information are only transferred to the server of the app provider when the user checks in or calls an emergency number.

The data are transferred in encrypted form and saved at Microsoft data centers in the Netherlands and Ireland.

The Data Privacy Guidelines are defined in the Agreement between UZH and the emergency app provider.

Who can send alerts?

Emergency alerts can only be sent by the head officer on duty at the Office for Safety, Security and Environment.

What happens if an emergency situation occurs?

People who have the app installed on their smartphone will be informed without delay about any incidents (threats, persons running amok, etc.) at UZH.

Every registered user in the affected area will receive an initial alert with the following information:

  • Information on the type of incident
  • A prompt to check in if you are in the affected area
  • A web link to further information on the incident

If you are in the affected building or area, please be sure to check in. This confirms your location to the Office for Safety, Security and Environment and ensures you receive information and instructions on emergency procedures specific to the incident.

Does the app have to be open/active to receive alerts?

No. If you have enabled messages for the emergency app, you will receive emergency alerts even when the app is closed.

It is not possible to check in when SafeZone is used outside UZH areas, but the app can still be used worldwide to raise an alarm and call for first aid.

What number will be called when I press the app’s “Service Center”, “first aid”, and “emergency” buttons?

Within UZH:

  • Service Center: The app connects you to the Service Center responsible for your current location.
  • First aid: The app provides options to reach in-house paramedics or the Swiss emergency call center.
  • Emergency: The app provides options to reach the UZH control center or the police 117

Outside of UZH:

  • Service Center: The app connects you with the relevant national emergency call center.
  • First aid: The app connects you with the relevant national emergency call center.
  • Emergency:  The app connects you with the relevant national emergency call center.

If I have registered for the UZH security zone, must I check in every time in order to receive alerts?

No. When you register, you can select the zones/buildings for which you would like to receive alerts. If, for example, your office is on Andreastrasse in Oerlikon and you rarely visit other UZH locations, you can register for just the "Oerlikon" zone. This way, you will only receive emergency alerts related to the buildings in Oerlikon. You will always receive alerts for your selected zones even when you are not checked in. You only need to check in in an emergency situation, and only when you have been prompted by the alert to do so. This enables the emergency management team to locate your position and provide you with incident-specific information.

Is it possible to automatically check in to my current zone so that I am always locatable in an emergency (auto check-in)?

This option is not available in the first version of the emergency app. It may be offered in future versions. If you want to be sure that you always receive all alerts, please register for all UZH Zones.

Does the app need to be open/active, in order to receive emergency information?

No. The app must simply be installed and enabled to receive messages. For location positioning, the app must also have access to the position information of your smartphone.

Do I have to check in to make an emergency call?

No, but when you raise an emergency alarm, your current positioning information will be transferred to the Fairgate server.

What number should I call if there is no immediate danger, but I have a "bad feeling" about a situation?

In such cases, call the Service Center first via the “Service Center” button for support.