While shopping, you've probably heard a store employee come on over the intercom to say a few words. There's a good chance you weren't even paying attention and didn't pick up on what they were saying.

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The next time you're shopping, make it a point to pay attention — it could save your life. It might sound a little dramatic, but it's true.

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If you don't work in retail, you may be unaware that some stores have color codes that they say over the intercom that each have different meanings.


According to Common Cents Moms, stores, including Walmart, use seven color-coded messages: Brown, Red, Green, Blue, Orange, White, and Black.

What are the Seven Shopping Color Codes and Their Meanings?


When you hear code brown, it means that there is an active shooter on the premises. You need to find your way to an exit immediately and call 911.


If you hear code red that means there is a fire of some type within the store


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


This code means that there is a potential bomb threat happening in the store.


Code orange means there is a chemical spill inside or outside of the store.


Code White means there is some sort of injury or accident that has happened within the store.


Code black means there is dangerous and severe weather in the area.

While the codes are intended for store employees who are trained to handle these situations, as a customer, it's just as important for you to know as well. You never know, it just might save your life.

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