What would you do: Condition White

You’re walking through a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon in peak shopping season with your family. People of every walk of life are shopping, but there is one thing that seems to transcend almost every background. They’re window shopping, looking at their lists, texting or on phone calls, ordering over-priced coffee, talking with their friends - most of them are in condition white.

This is a great educational opportunity for your family, what do you teach them while you’re at the mall?

Col. Jeff Cooper’s awareness color code is very well known in the self-defense world. White is the lowest level of awareness - someone is basically unaware of what is going on around them and not prepared to defend themselves.

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Exits and hiding spots.

My dad an I were having a conversation about how many people would duck into the Justice store vs going a few extra yards into the dicks sporting goods. People panick and make bad rash decisions. The risk of covering those extra yards would be well worth the reward of being in a sporting goods store vs a fake jewelry store.


Situation: avoided


I was wondering who would come up with that smarty-pants answer first. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wait until you have kids and your kids have a orchestra concert in a mall at Christmas time - you can’t get out of those.

So what would you advise others if they’re in the mall and everyone else is in condition white?


I always make it a point to scope out exit signs and exits when I enter a mall or other business.

I have even gone as far as asked where exits are in stores I frequent.

Look next time you’re in a Walgreens or CVS - to the unknowing it appears there’s only one entry/exit - in the case of Walgreens all their emergency exits appear to be behind locked doors.


uh… is that even legal? Generally building codes require 2 points of egress…

Ok, now I’m gonna look. Maybe I’ll be using the drive-up pharmacy window after that.

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Keyword is appear, there is one door way in the back of the store that isn’t locked (at least in the ones I’ve been in here). If you look at the doors they all have keypads on them except for the one way in the back, usually a rear corner.


In an independently standing building, you could also drive around it and see where the doors are. Door in southwest corner applies to the doors you see inside. I’ve done that before. In strip malls, there’s always* a rear exit.


Walgreens emergency exists are near the bathrooms. They are a crash bar style door, with an alarm in the door. You open that door, the alarm goes off.

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Not in my neck of the woods, they’re hidden in the far back corner of the store and have a combo keypad on them.


This isn’t saying your wrong, I’m just curious. Ask them where the emergency exit is, if you already haven’t. They should have at least one emergency exit accessible.

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In the stores here in CA, and they all have keypads on them giving the impression they’re locked, they’re not. The only reason I know this is because I’ve asked.

Turns out in the Costco situation here the exit doors have a 15 second delay before opening to prevent accidental or malicious opening. This is why people in the Corona CA situation had trouble getting out of the warehouse.

I didn’t take it as you saying I was wrong, different states/cities have different building codes.


If the law in CA is the same as WI it is a fire code.

It is acceptable to delay the door opening for up to 15 seconds BUT, it also has to be connected to the central fire alarm system (or attached to an independent smoke detector located near the door) so it would open with no delay in case the fire alarm has been activated (or the smoke detector goes off).

When I worked for the UW Madison I installed the first delayed egress panic device (crash bar) on the campus. The city Fire Marshall and I went a few rounds about wither or not it was legal. He later apologized to me and told me I was (at that time at least) the only one that had ever proven him wrong.

We became friends and chatted every time he came to the campus after that.

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