Facebook has turned on its Safety Check tool to assist users located in Paris to say that they are safe after a rash of shootings and explosions rocked the city on the evening of Nov. 13.

The Safety Check tool of the social network is automatically sending out notes to users located in the affected area, asking if the user is safe. If a user selects the "Yes, let my friends know" option, the tool will then notify the user's friends on Facebook.

Users located outside of Paris can also access the Safety Check tool to see if their friends in the city are safe.

Facebook sets the location of users based on what they have stated in their profile, the area where they are logged on to the Internet, and the most recent location if they are using the Nearby Friends feature of the social network. If the Safety Check tool has the location of a user wrong, it can be changed to the correct location.

The response of Facebook to activate the tool comes as Paris officials advise residents of the city to stay indoors. The attacks have already led to over 150 deaths.

"Communication is critical in these moments," Facebook stated, "both for people there and for their friends and families anxious for news."

Facebook's Safety Check tool, which was launched last year, has been activated by the social network five times. The Paris Safety Check, however, is the first instance that the tool was turned on for a situation that is not a natural disaster.

According to a spokeswoman for Facebook, the social network does not yet have the figures on how many users marked themselves as safe in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande has declared a national state of emergency, closing off the country's borders after the spate of bomb and gun attacks in Paris. The attack that claimed the most lives was at the Bataclan concert hall, where the French police reported more than 100 people were killed, with dozens more taken as hostages.

Some 1,500 military personnel have been sent into Paris to attempt to control the situation.

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