As someone who suffered abuse and has C-PTSD, I am constantly aware of my surroundings. It does not matter if someone was previously a victim or never was: people need to be aware of their surroundings and safety. It could mean life and death!

We all frequent Walmart, whether we care to admit to it or not. Have you ever heard their intercom announcements but never knew what they meant? It’s good that you’re paying attention, but you might feel better if you knew what they meant? I want to break down the codes, so consumers know what is going on in their store…

  • Code Red – This code signifies that there is a fire inside the store. Listen closely for instructions, follow directions, and do not panic!
  • Code Orange – This code specifically indicates that there is a chemical spill somewhere on the property.
  • Code Yellow – This code indicates a spill of some sort, in the store. I guess that could include “urine,” but let’s NOT explore that…
  • Code Green – This code means that there is an active hostage situation “in progress.”
  • Code Blue – This code indicates that there is an active bomb threat. Again, don’t panic, just proceed to the nearest exit, safely!
  • Code White/Code Silver – This code represents that there has been an accident or notable incident inside the store. Don’t go gawk, stay clear of the area!
  • Code Black – This code means that there is potentially dangerous inclement weather in the immediate area.
  • Code Brown – This code signifies that there is an “active shooter” on the immediate premises. Please stay calm and follow direction! And, no, it doesn’t mean that there has been a potty accident, like some would think – LOL!
  • Code C – This code indicates that customer assistance is needed in a specific area of the store.
  • Codes 15/60 – These two codes indicate that security staff are going on either a 15 minute or 60 minute break, so they won’t be available temporarily. This refers mainly to the plain clothes surveillance staff. Be mindful of this one…if consumers know, so also do criminals!
  • Code 300/Department 51 – These codes let security staff know their attention is needed. The code is usually followed by a phone extension or area, to indicate more specifically where they need to go.
  • Code Adam – This code indicates that a child has been missing, so the store associates “lock down” the store, not letting anyone leave until the child has been located safely, after law enforcement arrives. This code was named for Adam Walsh, young son of television host John Walsh, after he was abducted from a Sears, never seen alive again. A way to thwart this is to always know what shoes you have on your child, taking note of what they’re wearing, EVERY time you leave home. If an abductor separates them from you and takes them into a bathroom, they can cut the child’s hair, bring clothes of a certain size, put a hat on them — all in an attempt to make them look different, but they never know what size shoes to bring! There are also tackers for shoes, but that’s an entirely different story!
  • Code Spark – This code indicates that the cash register area is overwhelmed and more staff are needed. Honestly, the only time I’ve heard this was during Black Friday — no kidding!

Many stores have their own coding, so be sure and ask what certain codes mean if it’s a store you frequent. The associates/employees will tell you if they’re allowed. Codes for shoplifting are usually kept a secret, for good reason. Just keep an ear open, especially for safety purposes or things going on, like…deals? I mean, I think many of us remember K-Mart’s “blue light specials,” don’t we???

Something to think about also, hospitals also have codes. These are the most common:

  • Code Red – This code calls out a fire, somewhere in the building or on the grounds
  • Code Orange – Mass casualty incidents — which means a lot of casualties headed that way!
  • Code Blue (aka Code 90 or Code 45)- Cardiac arrest, crash cart needed!
  • Code Gray/Code Silver – This code signifies a “combative,” “violent,” or “aggressive” person
  • Code Black/Code Brown – This code represents an “extreme” weather warning. Take appropriate refuge!

Stay safe my friends! <3