London Underground staff use code words for fire and vomit on platforms

Whether you’re a local or visiting England’s capital city for a staycation you’ll likely hop on the tube to get around.

The London Underground is super handy for travelling from different parts of the city without needing to rent a car or pay for a cab.

In fact, it’s generally much faster to use the tube as you won’t get stuck in traffic!

However, while you’re waiting on the platform or tramping down travelators between train lines you might just hear some announcements come over the tannoy.

Many warn passengers about delays or mention that you should mind the gap when stepping onto a tube carriage.

But, you may have heard some more mysterious announcements between staff that make no sense to the average layperson.

TFL staff use a numbered code system from one to seven to indicate certain issues on platforms.

It can be worrying to hear them as many of us assume that a code means there’s been an emergency.

However, most of the code numbers actually just indicate that something needs to be cleaned up within the station .

Generally, an announcement will ask a member of staff to go to a specific platform due to a “code 1-7”.

Each individual number means a different mess has been made, reports TimeOut.

These include:

  • Code 1 – Blood
  • Code 2 – Urine/Faeces
  • Code 3 – Vomit
  • Code 4 – Spillage
  • Code 5 – Broken glass
  • Code 6 – Litter
  • Code 7 – Anything not fitting these categories

So there’s nothing to worry about, but if you’re heading to the indicated platform we’d advise you watch where you step.

Another code that’s used on the tube is “Inspector Sands”.

If you hear the Inspector being called somewhere – such as the operations room – then that means there’s a fire occurring.

You’ll be told to evacuate the station using a clear tannoy announcement if you need to leave.


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