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beamSmart FAQ


1. Is this app replacing our current emergency service on campus (x5-5555)?

No, this app does not replace any existing emergency services.

2. Is it mandatory we download this app as part of UMBC services?

The beamSmart app is an optional addition to the existing emergency and support services provided by the institution. BeamSmart is designed to allow instant communication for a myriad of services ranging from general support to emergency situations and provides a new, alternative way in which the community can connect with UMBC police.

3. Is this app owned by UMBC and/or a property of UMBC?

No. This app is owned by beamSmart, an external company that UMBC has partnered with to use its emergency response system.

4. Is the app free to use? Does it contain any features I have to pay for?

The app is free to download, install and use, as well as all of its features.

5. On what devices is the app available?

The app is available for all iOS and Android devices.

6. Does this app use my data plan?

By nature, features of the app require the transfer of data across a network. The app is designed to be used within the campus perimeter, which should allow you to use campus Wifi to access the app and all of its functionality.


1. How does this app work?

Once you have created a profile with beamSmart, you will need to join the “UMBCAssist” community to access the app’s functionality on the UMBC campus.

After joining “UMBCAssist” you will see three options to connect you with UMBC Police: Non-emergency, which uses text chat; Safety Escort, which uses a voice and text; and Emergency Call, which automatically activates a video call with emergency responders. Text, voice, and video options are available to activate in all modes, if you choose. To learn more about how to use the app and its features, please see beamSmart’s tutorial.

2. How does the virtual escort feature work?

When you select the Safety Escort button it will immediately connect you to UMBC Police and share current location. Once connected, you will be able to engage in a text and/or voice chat with a member of UMBC Police. You can also activate the camera if you wish to engage in a video chat, as well.

3. Can I call 911 directly through the app?

No. When using the app within UMBC’s geo-fenced location, all features connect you with UMBC Police. If use the app outside of the UMBC geo-fenced location you will be prompted to dial 911.

4. How does geo-location/geo-fencing work?

BeamSmart creates a geo-fence for each of its “Assist Communities.” Once you have joined the UMBC Community (UMBCAssist) you will be able to make emergency calls directly to UMBC Police using the app.  If you are a member of the “UMBCAssist” and outside of the geo-fence virtual barrier, you will be prompted to contact 911.

5. Does this app collect my personal information? If so, where is it stored and how is it handled?

When creating your profile in the app it will ask for basic information, which will be shared with the communities you have joined, including “UMBCAssist.” BeamSmart recommends you include pertinent information such as your name and heath and emergency contacts. In the event you use the app, this information, along with your geolocation, will be provided to emergency responders on campus to help assist you. For more information on beamSmart’s terms and conditions, please see its privacy policy.

If you have additional questions regarding the beamSmart app, or its functionality, please visit the beamSmart website or contact them directly at