“Code 1000. Repeat, Code 1000.”

This evening in Ikea (don’t judge me) we were just done shopping when the PA system blares this. Three times in a row. We notice that all staff around us go into action immediately.

Clever as I am (don’t judge me) I pull out my phone and google “Ikea code 1000“.


Turns out, first announcement means an unconfirmed alarm (fire etc.). Second time is a warning to all staff to prepare an evacuation. And third means business. Yes, we heard three, so I shovel the wife and kids out to the car right away.

While I was checking the kids’ seat belts, the PA starts again. This time it finally asks all customers to seek the nearest emergency exit immediately. Good thing we were already done and gone because I do not want to get stuck outside with these two tired kids at their bed time.

As we drove off (no traffic!) we couldn’t tell if there was really a problem (wife thinks the lights were out in parts of the upper floor), and frankly I’m just happy to not be there. Twenty years ago, single me would’ve been curious and hung around – you know, for science and stuff (don’t judge me). Funny how priorities change!

After a little more googling, I’ve been able to compile this list of codes. They might vary from store to store, I don’t know. At any rate, codes are used in order to avoid misinterpretation (although curiously that requires all staff to remember the codes and not mix them up). The codes can be followed by another code (today it was “188”) that indicates the affected location in the store.

Also, this German describes that he found this list of codes, forgotten at a packing table, so I’m adding those to my list below:


  • Code 1000 = fire, bomb, etc. This can also be an unannounced fire drill, even during normal business hours.
  • Code 500 = a child is missing. The staff will immediately monitor (or block?) all exits, I guess to prevent the child from leaving alone, or even with the wrong adult.
  • Code 200 = more staff needed in (location).
  • Code 99 = lost child, or parents forgot their kid at the play land. This has also been experienced as a code 200 and code 300. Has also been reported as meaning “all male staff to (location) to subdue a violent person.”
  • Code 89 = more staff needed at the registers.
  • Code 88 = Cleaning / maintenance / repair needed in (location).
  • Code 79 = manager needed in (location).
  • Code 5 = immediate first aid required. This has also been experienced as a code 500.
  • Pippi Longstocking = a thief.
  • Lucky Luke = staff all registers. Or, all logistics staff needed at the pickup desk.
  • Ikea time check = bomb threat pre evacuation (just the thought makes me uncomfortable!)


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