10 Secret Emergency Codes Everyone Should Know

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Emergency codes and words are made for hospitals, airports and other public places to notify their staff or security of a bad situation or something bad happening in the vicinity. This is done due to avoid panic in public and alert the trained personnel to deal with the situation. Many of these codes are secret to keep common people away from harm and danger in the emergency situations, however, these 10 code can help you notify and help someone else.

1 The Police ‘10’ codes

US Law enforcement agencies and especially police use this ‘ten for’ codes to signify various illegal things in happening. The codes were set place in 1930s and were expanded and curate in 1970. In this system, 10-87 means homicide, 10-31 means a man with a gun, and ‘ten –double zero’ means all units must report immediately as an officer is down.

  • 10 – 31 – Man with Gun
  • 10 – 35 – Major Crime Alert
  • 10 – 38 – Stopping Suspicious Vehicle
  • 10 – 80 – Chase in Progress

he Police ‘10’ codes

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2 Time check

Time check is the time bomb squad version of police’s ‘ten’ code. When ‘Time Check: time is 12.00’ is said during a bomb threat, the authorities must immediately follow the protocols in place for bomb emergencies. Procedure states that personnel in offices must start searching for suspicious objects and start searching for the bomb, instead of moving towards exits.

Bomb Threat code

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3 Doctor Brown

When someone call for a ‘Dr. Brown’ on loudspeakers in any hospital, it isn’t a signal for a Dr. Brown. It is in fact a signal for security personnel to get ready to tackle a threat to personnel. If the doctors or nurses find themselves in trouble with any person visiting them they apply the Dr. Brown code for help. They page their location to security and they rush to the spot to save them.

Doctor Brown

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4 Walmart codes

Walmart is one of the biggest retail store chain in the world. It has thousands of stores all over US and many other countries. It is also the first ever retailer to make a list of emergency codes for themselves. Code 10 means a wet spill in any of the aisles. Code Blue is the most worry some code, as it means there is a bomb in the building. Code Green means hostage situation on the building.

Walmart codes

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5 Code Adam

Code Adam is a universally recognized code, which was introduced by Walmart in 1994. It is named after the tragic incident of 1981, when 6 year Adam Walsh was abducted from a Sears mall in Hollywood. His head was found 2 days later in a canal. This code is used all big retailers to notify if a child is missing.

Code Adam

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6 London Bridge is down

This code is only valid in United Kingdom and will be used by British officials amongst themselves when the Queen dies. Her private secretary has the duty of calling the British Prime Minister with the news in a coded message. The message is coded to keep the news from leaking. The protocol says that the heads of every commonwealth nations will be informed first and media will be told next and allowed to make the news public.

The British Queen Elizabeth

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7 Color based Codes

There are many color based codes like:

‘Code Black’- used by military to signify a bomb threat. ‘Code Purple’ is to signify child abduction and ‘code pink’ is used to notify of infant abduction. ‘Code Yellow’ is known in hospital for missing patients and also to alert the staff to be ready to face an external disaster.

Nursing staff at hospital

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8 Mayday

Mayday is probably the most recognized and dreaded code words in the world. It signifies that a plane or ship is in distress. It originated in 1923, when a radio officer Fredrick Mockford in Croydon airport in London requested to form a single word that is easy to understand by all officials and pilots in emergency situations. Mockford used ‘mayday’ keeping both English and French languages in mind.


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9 ID 10 T

If a service guy or any IT person puts this note on your computer, you are doomed. If you see carefully, the code reads out IDIOT and the IT guy has just called you an idiot. IT staff uses this code when an ignorant user commits a common mistake in computers. So keep an eye out for such a code.

ID 10 T

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10 Angela

Angela or speak to Angela is a recently coined word that is used in bars all over US to get out of a bad situation involving se*ual violence. If the bar staff is well trained, they can help you immediately after hearing you say this safe word in case of emergency.

Bartender and client

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