Buzz Code & Apartment Intercom System

Lisa C. Daily Life, Newcomer Information

When you visit your friend or coworker who lives in an apartment or condo, you may be told,

“When you get here, I will buzz you in/up.”

If you are a newcomer to Canada, you might feel a bit puzzled. What exactly does “buzz you in” mean? The action of “buzzing” someone in has something to do with the apartment intercom system.

What is an intercom system?
  • An intercom system is a two-way communication device.
  • Many apartments and condos in Calgary and other Canadian cities have intercom systems for security reasons.
  • With this system in place, visitors who are not residents of the building cannot enter the building directly. They have to know the buzz code of the unit or the last name of the person they want to visit,.
What is a buzz code?
  • Each unit in the apartment building has a buzz code.
  • The buzz code used to be the same as the unit number, but is nowadays always different from it for security reason.
  • Buzz code is also called buzzer code, buzzer, buzz number, etc.
How does the buzz code work?
  • When you arrive at your friend’s building, you will find a call box in the lobby with a directory in it. Residents are listed by their last names and buzz codes.
  • Usually, you will find an easy-to-follow instruction on how to use the call box to buzz the person you are visiting. Reads through the instruction first.
  • If you know the buzz code, you can dial that; if not, you can look up the person’s last name in the list.
  • The intercom system is usually hooked up with the resident’s phone number. When you dial on the call box, the person you are visiting will receive a phone call, verify your identity, and push a button to unlock and door for you.
If you live in an apartment, include your buzz code as part of your address when
  • You shop online and the package will be delivered by a courier service.
  • You order food directly from a restaurant or through a food delivery app.
In other words, if you trust the person and want him to enter the building, you can mention your buzz code.

Learn the basics of a Canadian address.

Word of the Day:

Directory: a list of names and addresses in alphabetical order (from A to Z).