Safe360°Strathclyde SOS

Strathclyde SOS: reassurance at your fingertips

The University of Strathclyde is proud to launch Strathclyde SOS - a personal alarm that works using your current smartphone, to ensure your safety 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Originally designed for lone workers, Strathclyde SOS will be made available to both students and staff, and is tailored for our university community, those who live, work, or socialise on, and around our city-centre campus.

Strathclyde SOS is not just an SOS alarm but also a proactive safety tool to ensure that even in unexpected situations you get the help you need.

You may be locking premises out of hours, routinely travelling to, or from, your place of work or study, regularly travelling to different appointments. You may be alone in the same location for extended periods or concerned about being harmed in personal or social situations or getting home after a night out. Strathclyde SOS provides a push button alarm on your smartphone for use in an emergency, incident, or crisis. It is not for general enquiries or non-urgent assistance.

Strathclyde SOS is a pilot project. We have 1,500 free licenses and we welcome any of our students and staff who feel they could benefit from the connectivity of Strathclyde SOS.

Register your interest using our Microsoft Form.

Strathclyde SOS is powered by Pick Protection. Pick Protection was founded by Strathclyde alumna Rebecca Pick (CEO). She set out on a mission to enable everyone to feel safe at work and at university after her neighbour had an altercation while taking their bins out. She felt everyone should have access to a personal safety alarm that also proactively looks after their safety.

How does Strathclyde SOS work?

The Strathclyde SOS system uses the Pick Protection PG Smart app, when uploaded to your smartphone, it has three functions:

1. SOS Alarm

When you require assistance, you simply press and hold the SOS button for two seconds. This alerts the University Security. It provides your GPS location as well as opening a two-way audio call between you and University Security who will verify the situation and respond to the person in need.

2. Pre-alert

A pre-alert enables you to communicate with the University Security by text. For example, if you are working alone, you may want to let University Security know your location within a building e.g., Floor 4, room 405. When activated, the SOS alarm provides your GPS location. The combined location information is intended to reduce the response time.

3. Time at risk

When you undertake a task of increased risk (eg out of hours work, working within a hazardous environment, travelling alone) you can set a time at risk period for the duration of the event. You have the option to extend this at any time. If you do not extend or confirm your safety at the end of the set time, your phone will alert you, and you need to confirm your safety. If your safety is not confirmed, this will escalate an SOS alarm, contacting the University Security Team, opening a two-way audio channel, and providing your GPS location.

Defined campus area

Where does Strathclyde SOS operate?

Strathclyde SOS travels with you individually through your smartphone and is supported by the University Security Team within the defined campus area. Any SOS alert raised on the campus will immediately connect you with the University Security Team, who will also be able to access your GPS location. Outside of the defined campus area, it connects to 101, the non-emergency police number.

Strathclyde SOS covers the University campus and University halls of residence. The perimeter of the defined campus area is also identified by the following streets:

  • Cathedral Street
  • North Frederick Street
  • George Street
  • Montrose Street
  • Shuttle Street
  • High Street
  • Stirling Road
  • St James Road

Frequently asked questions

  • within the defined campus area, the SOS alarm will be routed to the University Security Team. They will receive the alarm information, the GPS location and two-way audio connection
  • outside of the defined campus area the SOS alarm will be routed through to Emergency Services 101. Only the call is connected, 101 will not receive your GPS location

There are four points when data is collected:

1) Information you provide in your application form is used by the University, where it is stored on a secure database until the application is processed. After this point only anonymised data is held to support evaluation of Strathclyde SOS during the one-year pilot.

2) Information submitted within the app is stored by Pick Protection for the duration that you are registered to Strathclyde SOS. The following information can be provided for the sole purpose of identifying you, or your vehicle, when in need: Date of birth, gender, build, height, hair colour, distinguishing features, vehicle registration, make, model and colour.

Please also refer to the Pick Protection Privacy Policy.

3) Your GPS and personal descriptors are only used when the app is activated in the case of pre-alert at time at risk functions, or when an alarm is raised.

4) When the smartphone battery reaches 20% or less geo-location data (if within the defined campus area) is logged. University Security have access to this information an additional protection function, but do not respond to it unless an alarm is raised.

  • when you consent to participate in the Strathclyde SOS pilot, you consent to your data being held for the duration of the pilot project (one year). This information will only be accessed by the University Security Team and only for the purpose of emergency assistance
  • the information provided in your Microsoft Form application is held by the University. It may be used anonymously for the purpose of evaluation of the SOS Strathclyde

  • you are not being tracked. When the Strathclyde SOS function is active, your GPS location is traceable, but it is only used when the alarm button is pressed and for your personal protection. University Security are unable to see your live location 24/7
  • it is your responsibility for activation and deactivation of the Strathclyde SOS app. Once the app is closed on your smartphone, and the application is not running in the foreground or background there is no way the GPS can be accessed

  • you don’t need to log in and out of the app. You can either leave it running in the background or you can simply shut the app down on your device and you will receive a notification saying the app has been disabled, meaning you are no longer protected
  • you only need to open the app on your phone for the period it is needed for your personal protection with assurance that the GPS function is effective for your personal safety

Yes - please ensure you keep your smartphone charged. When the app is active and your device has less than 20% battery, a low battery alert will continually be sent to the portal monitored by the University. Please note that the low battery alert does not provide GPS location, therefore if help is required you still need to double-click the alarm button to activate.

Strathclyde SOS only works with Wi-Fi and eduroam.

Strathclyde SOS can be accessed on campus, using eduroam, without using any of your mobile data.

Strathclyde SOS works over cellular and Wi-Fi networks including eduroam. The application uses 2G, 3G, 4G and wi-fi and will detect the strongest signal.

If connected to Wi-Fi the application will not use your smartphone’s mobile data.

  • without mobile data, Strathclyde SOS only works if connected to Wi-Fi
  • if you do not have a smartphone and cannot afford one, the University may be able to assist through our Digital Inclusion scheme. Please email

Yes, once Strathclyde SOS is active on your smartphone, providing there is credit and sufficient connectivity as described above.

No. The 1500 licenses offered in the pilot, are free.

No. You can make an application independently. However, an application can also be made with the support of your line manager if it relates to your role, and you wish.

Over the age of 13 years. For more information, please see the Pick Protection Privacy Policy.

Strathclyde SOS covers the University campus and University halls of residence. The perimeter of the defined campus area is also identified by the following streets:

  • Cathedral Street
  • North Frederick Street
  • George Street
  • Montrose Street
  • Shuttle Street
  • High Street
  • Stirling Road
  • St James Road

Map showing the perimeter of the Strathclyde SOS area

At all times you have the choice to use Report and Support contact University Security on +44 (0) 141 548 2222 or 3333, or contact the emergency services directly.

University Security are familiar with the campus area and buildings. They can provide urgent and non-urgent response 24/7.

Within the defined campus area, the University Security Team will receive your alarm. Most often, a response for assistance will be from University Security who will attend your location. University Security may also liaison with emergency services on your behalf if they are unable to assist or upon assessing the severity of a situation.

The alarm will be routed to 101. No GPS data is shared, only the call will be connected to 101.

The University receives data that an SOS alarm has been raised but will not be provided with location information.

It is your responsibility, the smartphone user, to ensure:

  • your smartphone is charged
  • you always deactivate the Strathclyde SOS alarm once the incident is closed
  • you do not use the alarm to contact the University Security Team for non-emergency or general enquiries
  • if using Time at risk when you safely arrive at your destination, you must close the app so that the Security Team do not receive a false alarm
  • if you upload the PG Smart app to your smartphone you have access to Strathclyde SOS and the three alert functions. If you delete the app from your smartphone you will no longer hold a license and will have to re-apply, using the application process again