I just learned big box stores have a color-coded intercom announcement system they keep private so as to not cause panic when an audible warning must be given to staff.

We've all heard the big box stores' intercom systems delivering all kinds of messages to assist us when we are shopping. Occasionally, there are other messages delivered over that intercom system that you know have some sort of important meaning.

We've watched enough medical shows to to know that when someone says "code blue", something awful has happened. In the movie, A Few Good Men starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore, we learned what a "code red" means.

Both of those colors, red and blue, are two of the seven colors many major box stores also use, but they have very different meanings.

CommonCentsMom.com recently shared a color-coded announcement system that uses 7 different colors to deliver messages to employees during different situations going on in the store. The website makes it clear that the colored announcement system is used so the stores don't bring attention to things ranging from a dangerous or disgusting mess, and to also not cause panic.

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Walmart Color-Coded Warnings

CommonCentsMom shared the 7 color-coded messages that Walmart uses:


This code means an accident or another type of incident has happened somewhere in the store.


This code means there is a fire of some type in the store.


This code pertains to a chemical spill in some location inside or outside the store.


This code means some dangerous and severe weather is in the area.


This code means that there is an active hostage situation taking place.


This code means that there's a possible bomb threat happening in the store.


This code means that there is a shooter on the premises.

That color-coded system is used at every Walmart and may be similar to other big retailers around the country and the color codes they use.

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