Personal Safety awareness training
Codes of Awareness
Jeff Cooper developed the Codes of Awareness concept back in the 1960’s and today we think nothing of describing someone as switched on (or switched off) without being aware of where the terms came from.
Jeff Cooper was looking for ways to help military personnel be prepared for and ready to take appropriate action whatever their circumstances. He developed the traffic light analogy to help explain this.
Switched Off – Code White
Someone who is switched off doesn’t even register on the traffic light scale – being switched off is only appropriate in your own home or in a secure environment where you know it is safe to let your guard down. Being oblivious to your surroundings when you are out in the street can put you at risk from an opportunist looking for an easy target.
Code Green – Attentive but relaxed
The next level of awareness is where most of us should be most of the time. This is the level of awareness needed for normal everyday living – for example knowing when and how to cross the road – being aware of your environment but not hyper-vigilant.
Code Amber – Attention raised for perceived threat.
You should be at a slightly higher level of awareness when you anticipate going in to a risky situation – for example working alone in an area you don’t know well or visiting the home of someone for the first time.
Code Red – There is a real threat.
At this point in the awareness scale you need to take evasive action. This is the point when you acknowledge that the person confronting you actually intends to do you some harm. For some it can be very difficult to acknowledge that physical assault is about to happen. This is fight or flight time.
If your attention was properly focussed when you went in to the unknown ‘code amber’ situation you would have spotted the potential danger before it became a real threat. If you are unfortunate enough to have to fight your way out of a situation – be prepared to make the pre-emptive strike.
Certain jobs or experiences will make some people more alert to their environment – being in the police, the military, a doorman or in the licensed trade is more likely to make you alert to the potential risks of your environment and thus more ready to respond if something happens.
The person most likely to be right at the top of the awareness scale is the criminal – being hyper-vigilant when they are about to carry out a criminal act means they are less likely to get caught. You may recognise this behaviour as unusual.