Residents who choose to live at The Prime, a luxury mid-rise condo development in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, won't have to deal with the jingle-jangle of a bunch of keys to get into their homes. Instead, they'll swipe their fingers on a biometric fingerprint scanner.

“Today, there's a greater emphasis on security than there was 10 years ago, and security technology and products that have been more prevalent in the commercial sector are now finding their way into the residential sector,” says Daren Hornig, managing partner of Shea Commercial, which is developing The Prime.

Nearly 100 percent of people who live in multifamily buildings say that the amount of crime in the neighborhood plays a significant part in their home selection, according to a recent survey by

Multifamily communities, particularly rental properties, are more likely to be burglarized than other housing type, the survey finds. Additionally, residents are particularly concerned about violent personal attacks. However, almost eight out of 10 apartment residents feel moderately to extremely safe in their apartments, according to the survey, with deadbolts and gated entrances named as the most common protective measure.

However, security for multifamily buildings has grown beyond deadbolts to include video surveillance, electronic keypads, and sophisticated phone and intercom systems.

And, as security technology evolves, it has become more affordable, says Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis Communications, a Swedish company that specializes in surveillance technology. “In general, security is far more cost-effective than it used to be and far more easy for owners to install,” he says.

“Spending just a little more for security can really make an impact on your residents,” Hornig says. “Extra security makes them comfortable and gives them peace of mind.”

Jennifer Popovec is a freelance writer in Fort Worth, Texas.

TIPPING POINT: Forget keys and let your fingers do the work with the BioLock/SmartScan, a biometric deadbolt lock that uses a tiny fingerprint sensor to unlock doors. Developed by AuthenTec, the BioLock/SmartScan resembles a traditional deadbolt door lock on the outside and recognizes 50 different fingerprints. Setting up the systems requires three finger swipes across the sensor. For more information, call 800-847-1864 or visit