4526.5.55.001 - Home Safety and Security, Western Australia, Oct 2004  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/04/2005   
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Actual home break-in

An incident where the respondent's home had been broken into by an unauthorised intruder. The respondent's home was also defined to include their garage. Break-in offences relating to vehicles, stand-alone sheds or gardens were excluded.

Attempted home break-in

An incident where an attempt was made to break into the respondent's home or garage. Attempted break-in offences relating to vehicles, stand-alone sheds or gardens were excluded.

Area of usual residence

A person's area of usual residence as classified by the Statistical Region structure in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). The classification divides WA into two Major Statistical Regions - the Perth Statistical Division and the Balance of WA. For further information refer to
Australian Standard Geographical Classification (cat. no. 1216.0).


A deadlock is a locking device which is operated by key from the outside and inside of the dwelling. Some deadlocks also have a button or turn knob which can be used to lock/unlock the door from the inside only. The principle of deadlocks is that any burglars who have entered the home cannot leave through the deadlocked door and, as such, cannot carry out large items.

Exiting the dwelling in an emergency

Households were asked whether members of the household had discussed ways to exit the dwelling in case of an emergency. For a person living alone, they were asked whether he/she had thought about ways to exit the dwelling in case of an emergency. An emergency could include a fire, flood, storm or other similar emergency. The discussion could have included determining what items to take, appropriate doors/windows to use to escape, where to meet outside the dwelling, where the keys should be kept, etc.

Flat, unit or apartment

All dwellings in blocks of flats, units or apartments. These dwellings usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category also includes flats attached to houses such as granny flats, and houses converted into two or more flats.


A group of residents of a dwelling who share common facilities and meals or who consider themselves to be a household. It is possible for a dwelling to contain more than one household, for example, where regular provision is made for groups to take meals separately and where persons consider their households to be separate.

Point of entry

This is the location where an intruder gains, or attempts to gain, entry to the dwelling (e.g. window, door, etc.).

Other dwelling

This includes caravans, cabins, houseboats, sheds, tents, humpies and other improvised homes, or houses or flats attached to a shop, office, etc.

Private dwelling

A dwelling that is intended to have people live in it (e.g. house, flat, unit, caravan, houseboat, tent, etc.).

Security/burglar alarm

A security/burglar alarm is a system which sets off an alarm when a door or window is opened, or motion sensors detect movement. Typically, the alarm is activated if there is a break in an electrical circuit or a light beam. It should cover all main entry points and can have a number of intruder detection features (eg. motion sensors). When activated, the alarm could have an external and/or internal siren.

Security screens (doors)

A security screen door is a second door attached to the outside of a door which leads in to / out of the dwelling. A security screen door is lockable and is designed to provide extra security to an entrance to the dwelling. The security screen door has a steel or aluminium grille structure and may have a wire mesh covering. A security screen door is designed for security purposes (ie. it is not a fly screen door).

Security screens (windows)

A security screen is attached on the outside of a window and is designed to provide extra security to the window. The security screen is a fixed steel or aluminium grille structure and may have a wire mesh covering. The security screen may cover all or half of the window.

Security shutters

Security shutters are metal or aluminium screens, similar to garage roller doors, affixed to the outside of the window. They should be able to be locked in place, either in an open or shut position. They are also called blockout roller shutters or roller shutters.

Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse, etc

A dwelling that is either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or is separated from neighbouring dwellings by less than half a metre. It has its own private grounds and no other dwelling above or below it.

Seniors household

A household where at least one usual resident is aged 60 years or more.

Sensor lights

Sensor lights are lights that come on when they detect movement, and are usually connected through the dwelling's electricity supply.

Separate house

A house that stands alone in its own grounds separated from other dwellings by at least half a metre. It may have a flat attached to it, such as a granny flat or converted garage (the flat is categorised under Flat, unit or apartment).

Smoke alarm/detector

A smoke alarm/detector is a device that gives a loud warning sound when it detects smoke in the dwelling. Smoke alarms can be installed either on the ceiling or on a wall in the dwelling. They are usually located near the bedrooms of the dwelling, or in a passage-way. Depending on the type of smoke alarm, they may need installation by a licensed electrician or may simply be screwed into place by any person.

Telephone modem system

A monitoring system for a security/burglar alarm. If the security alarm is activated a notification is sent to a specified telephone number to alert the receiver.

Tenure type

Describes the legal right a person has to occupy a dwelling (e.g. fully owned, being purchased, rented).

Usual residents

Persons who usually live in a particular private dwelling and regard it as their own or main home. Excludes usual residents who were away from the dwelling for more than six weeks altogether and visitors to the dwelling who do not usually live there, do not regard it as their own or main home, but are temporarily staying there.

Window bars/grilles

Bars or grilles that are permanently affixed to the window of a dwelling (either the inside or the outside) for security purposes. They come in a range of styles, including fixed grilles, hinged grilles and key-locked removable bars and grilles.

Window film

Window film is a manufactured window covering that, when applied to the surface of a window, forms an invisible protective coating. It absorbs a large degree of shock wave so that broken glass is held intact in the window frame. This makes it hard for potential burglars to gain entry.

Window locks

Window locks are installed on the windows of a dwelling. They require a key to lock and unlock. They are designed to restrict movement of windows by pinning two frames, or the frame and sill, together. Windows could be locked in a closed position or a partially open position.