APCO Radio 10 Codes: Essential Skills for Ontario Security Guards

APCO Radio 10 Codes: Essential Skills for Ontario Security Guards

Effective communication is critical for security operations, particularly in high-pressure situations where clarity and speed are paramount. In Ontario, security guards utilize APCO “10” Codes, a standardized set of brevity codes to streamline radio communications. This blog delves into these codes, offering a comprehensive guide and practical examples of their application in the field.

Introduction to APCO “10” Codes

Originally developed in the late 1930s by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), “10” Codes were created to ensure quick and concise communication across law enforcement agencies. Today, these codes are essential for security guards, allowing them to convey messages succinctly and effectively.

Comprehensive List of APCO “10” Codes Used in Ontario

Here’s a detailed list of the “10” Codes and their intended messages, critical for every security guard’s communication toolkit:

10-0 Use Caution

10-1 Signal Weak

10-2 Signal Good

10-3 Stop Transmitting

10-4 Message Received

10-5 Relay

10-6 Station is Busy

10-7 Out of Service

10-8 In Service

10-9 Repeat

10-10 Fight in Progress

10-11 Animal Problem

10-12 Stand By

10-13 Report Conditions

10-14 Prowler Report

10-15 Civil Disturbance

10-16 Domestic Problem

10-17 Meet Complainant

10-18 Urgent

10-19 Go to Station

10-20 Advise to Location

10-21 Phone _______

10-22 Disregard

10-23 Arrived at Scene

10-24 Assignment Complete

10-25 Report to ________

10-26 Detaining Suspect

10-27 Driver’s License Information

10-28 Vehicle Registration Information

10-29 Check Records for Want

10-30 Unauthorized Use of Radio

10-31 Crime in Progress

10-32 Person with Gun

10-33 Emergency – All Units Stand By

10-34 Riot

10-35 Major Crime Alert

10-36 Correct Time

10-37 Suspicious Vehicle

10-38 Stop Suspicious Vehicle

10-39 Respond with Siren and Flashers

10-40 Do Not Use Siren and Flashers

10-41 Beginning Shift

10-42 End Shift

10-43 Information

10-44 Permission to Leave

10-45 Dead Animal

10-46 Assist Motorist

10-47 Emergency Road Repair

10-48 Traffic Control

10-49 Traffic Signal Out

10-50 Traffic Accident

10-51 Request Tow Truck

10-52 Request Ambulance

10-53 Roadway Blocked

10-54 Livestock on Roadway

10-55 Intoxicated Driver

10-56 Intoxicated Pedestrian

10-57 Hit and Run Accident

10-58 Direct Traffic

10-59 Escort

10-60 Squad in Vicinity

10-61 Personnel in Vicinity

10-62 Reply to Message

10-63 Prepare to Copy

10-64 Local Message

10-65 Net Message

10-66 Cancel Message

10-67 Clear for Net Message

10-68 Dispatch Information

10-69 Message Received

10-70 Fire Alarm

10-71 Advise Nature of Fire

10-72 Report Progress on Fire

10-73 Smoke Report

10-74 Negative

10-75 In Contact With ______

10-76 En Route to ______

10-77 Estimated Time of Arrival

10-78 Request Assistance

10-79 Notify Coroner

10-80 Pursuit in Progress

10-81 Breathalyzer Report

10-82 Reserved Lodgings

10-83 School Crossing Assignment

10-84 If Meeting… Advise ETA

10-85 Arrival Delayed

10-86 Operator on Duty

10-87 Pick Up

10-88 Advise Telephone Number

10-89 Bomb Threat

10-90 Bank Alarm

10-91 Pick Up Subject

10-92 Illegally Parked Vehicle

10-93 Blockage

10-94 Drag Racing

10-95 Subject in Custody

10-96 Detain Subject

10-97 Test Signal

10-98 Prisoner Escape

10-99 Wanted or Stolen

Practical Application of 10 Codes in Security Settings

Scenario Examples

Scenario 1: Emergency Response

Code Used: 10-33 Emergency – All Units Stand By

Context: When a major incident, such as a fire or violent altercation, occurs in a mall, security uses this code to mobilize all units and prepare for coordinated action.

Scenario 2: Routine Patrol Communication

Code Used: 10-23 Arrived at Scene, 10-8 In Service

Context: Upon arriving at a scheduled patrol area, a guard communicates arrival and readiness to address any issues, ensuring continuous monitoring and quick response.

Scenario 3: Traffic Management

Code Used: 10-50 Traffic Accident, 10-51 Request Tow Truck

Context: After witnessing or being alerted to a traffic accident, security personnel will use these codes to report the incident and call for necessary roadside assistance.

The use of APCO “10” Codes is integral to the daily operations of security guards, facilitating effective communication that is vital for maintaining safety and order. By mastering these codes, security personnel ensure they are prepared to handle any situation with professionalism and efficiency, enhancing their capability to protect and serve.



What are the Basic 10 Codes most commonly used?

The most commonly used 10 Codes are:

10-1 Signal Weak

10-2 Signal Good

10-4 Message Received

10-7 Out of Service

10-8 In Service

10-9 Repeat

10-20 Advise to Location

10-23 Arrived at Scene

What are the 10 Codes of security?

10 Codes in security refer to a set of standardized brevity codes used by security personnel to communicate different types of information efficiently over radio transmissions. Examples include 10-10 Fight in Progress, 10-31 Crime in Progress, and 10-95 Subject in Custody.

What is the 10 code for a person’s location?

The 10 code for advising a person’s location is 10-20.

What is a 10 code system?

10 code system is a method of communication that uses codes expressed in numbers beginning with “10” followed by another numeral to encode messages. This system is used for clear, quick, and standardized communication, especially among security, law enforcement, and other emergency response professionals.

What is the 10 code standard?

The 10 code standard refers to the universally accepted and used set of codes within public safety and related professions to communicate information succinctly and without misunderstanding.

What does 10/7 mean in radio talk?

In radio communication, 10-7 means “Out of Service.”

Why do people say 10-4?

People say 10-4 to acknowledge that they have received and understood the message.

What does code 7 mean?

In some contexts, Code 7 can refer to “Taking a break” or “Out of service for a break,” but it can vary by region and department.

What are all the codes for cops?

The codes for police vary widely by region and department, but common ones include:

10-4 Message Received

10-6 Busy

10-7 Out of Service

10-8 In Service

10-20 Location

10-31 Crime in Progress

10-78 Need Assistance

What are the most important codes?

Important codes include:

10-33 Emergency, All Units Stand By

10-78 Need Assistance

10-31 Crime in Progress

What does code 5 mean?

Code 5 generally means “Undercover operations” or “Stakeout” and is used to inform units to stay out of the area to avoid blowing a cover.

What does 10/4 mean on a walkie talkie?

On a walkie talkie, 10-4 means “Message Received and Understood.”

What’s your 20 meaning?

“What’s your 20?” is a way to ask “What is your location?” based on the 10 Code, 10-20, for location.

Do you say over after Roger?

In radio communication, “Roger” means “Received,” and “Over” indicates the end of a communication or that a response is expected. Typically, you say “Roger” to acknowledge and “Over” if you are handing over the communication to another person or ending your turn.

What does Roger Wilco mean?

“Roger Wilco” is used in radio communication to mean “Received and Will Comply.” It’s often used in military contexts.

What does 86 mean in walkie talkie?

In general slang, “86” is used to mean “Remove” or “Get rid of something.” 

It’s not a standard 10 Code but is commonly used in restaurant and bar settings.

What does 20 mean in radio talk?

In radio talk, “20” refers to location, stemming from the 10 Code 10-20.

What does 10/20 mean?

10-20 is the code for “Advise to Location,” used to request or communicate one’s location.

If you are looking to become a security guard in Ontario and learn more about 10-codes you can purchase your security training from us for only $99.99 + tax. 

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