Hearing an announcement over a store's intercom is a common occurrence for most shoppers - usually it's asking for employees to help out at busy registers or for someone to clean up a mess in an aisle. However, on rare occasions, other announcements are made using secret codes that only employees understand... until now.
The announcements are coded so that shoppers won't panic or cause further problems, and according to a thread on Quora, there are quite a few of them. One Walmart associate shared the ones they are aware of, starting with a "Code Brown," which means there has been a violent act at the store. Typically, it will be followed by instructions, but unless it is unsafe to leave, it might be in your best interest to get out and get some distance.
Brown isn't the only color code you might hear and for most of them, you'll still want to leave. A "Code Orange" signifies a chemical spill, a "Code Red" is a fire, a "Code Blue" is a bomb threat," "Code White" is an accident of some kind in the store and a "Code Green" is an active hostage situation. The only code where you probably shouldn't leave is a "Code Black," which indicates severe weather outside.
Not all codes are named after colors either. "Code Adam" alerts associates that a child in the store is missing. It is named after six-year-old Adam Walsh, who was abducted from a Florida Sears in 1981. A "Code 300" or "99," followed by a location code, is a request for security in that area.
There are also codes that don't reflect danger and are just easier ways for employees to communicate. "Code Spark" means more cashiers are needed up front, "Code 10" is a wet spill," "Code 20" is a dry spill, "Code 50" means shopping carts need to be gathered from the parking lot, "Code 1" is for a shoplifter and "Code C" just means a customer needs assistance.
The most important thing to remember though is that if you do hear a coded announcement, never panic since that won't help anyone.