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10 Secret Codes You Aren't Meant To Know, But Probably Should

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Elgin Air Force Base

Everywhere there are massive groups of people, there is plenty of potential for things to go wrong. It's easy for troublemakers to hide themselves within a crowd and before you know it, havoc is everywhere.

One way to keep chaos at bay is for staff members of public places like hospitals, stores and entertainment venues to have secret codes.

These special words are supposed to be kept private so that non-staff members don't panic, or so as not to alert someone (like a thief) that they have been spotted.

While many places have their own set of codes, many others use universal codes.

Here are our top 10 secret codes that might prove useful to you in the future:

10. The Ten Codes

You may recognize these from the show Cops in which you get to follow along with police officers, constables, sherriff's deputies and federal agents as they investigate criminal activity.

Although these codes aren't exactly private (you can find lists online) many police departments have tried to make it illegal to share them with the public.

In the ten codes system, a 10-33 means Emergency: all units stand by, while a 10-89 means bomb threat.

9. Tech Support

We've all had that awkward conversation with tech support where they ask us to turn the computer off, then on again as though we're too dumb to think of it on our own.

For some individuals, this kind of advice is actually required. There are certain codes that are used by tech support workers that identify particularly dense customers and warn the next technician about who they might be dealing with the next time they answer the call.

If you work in tech support, you might see "The fault was a PICNIC" (Problem In Chair - Not In Computer), or an ID 10 T Error, which is, of course an IDIOT Error.

8. Time Check

This code word has been used in stores to alert staff to a bomb. If you hear this and notice staff ushering people out of the store, you need to exit as quickly and calmly as you can - this is not a drill!

Some stores use this code in order to get their staff to start SEARCHING for the bomb!

7. Code 10

Not to be confused with ten-codes, the Code 10 in hospitals can refer to a mass casualty or a serious threat like a bomb alert.

It's more likely that you'll hear a code 10 when you're about to pay for an item at a store. If the cashier is suspicious of you or your card, they might use this code to alert the credit card company. This type of call often results in a call to local police.

6. Dr. Brown

The code word that alerts hospital security staff to a threat to personnel is "Doctor Brown." When you hear this special word, you know that a nurse or a doctor is in danger either from a violent patient or a non-staff member.

Some hospitals use Code Silver to alert security to a person with a weapon and code gray to a violent person without a weapon.

Do you know any other codes? Share them with us!

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