The Importance of AED Placement, Accessibility and Availability

A woman carrying a bright yellow hard AED case

Where Is The Best Place To Keep An Automated External Defibrillator?

Where is the best place to keep an automated external defibrillator (AED)? This is a common question asked by many people who are considering purchasing an AED for their office or home. The reason there is uncertainty over where to keep it is because you never know when or where a situation will arise that requires immediate medical attention.

The most important thing to remember is that AEDs should be kept on the premises where they can be easily accessed during an emergency situation. Below, you can find a more detailed answer to the question of “where to place an AED” as well as other commonly asked questions regarding placement of these life saving units:

1. Where Is The Most Accessible Place To Keep My AED?

The best place to keep your AED is in an accessible location. Ideally, this location is one that you will be able to get to quickly in the event of an emergency such as a sudden cardiac arrest. You should also consider how easily your AED can be found and accessed by others should you not be available. 

The first step in finding the right location for your AED is to determine what type of environment you will be storing it in. For example, if you're storing your device at home or in a small office building, then you would want to make sure that it is placed in a room or hallway that is frequently used, and where people will be aware of its existence. This means placing them in an area that is not locked or behind a closed door. It’s also important to make sure that the AED is not too high off the ground, as this can cause problems for older individuals and those who have mobility issues.

If you store it in a large office building or warehouse, then you may want to consider purchasing multiple units. When someone is experiencing a cardiac arrest there is limited time to administer treatment. AEDs are most effective when they are kept close by, this means that if you have to travel to another floor to find one, it is too far away. 

A good rule of thumb is 3 minutes or less. If it takes more than 3 minutes to walk from one corner of your office building to the other, you will require multiple AEDs. The brain starts to die without oxygen at 6 minutes so if it takes more than 3 minutes to walk from the victim to the AED and back there is less chance of success. Keep in mind that all rescuers may not be able to move or walk as fast as you, therefore it’s important to time yourself at a regular walking speed.

2. Do AEDs Require Their Own Cabinets?

No, AEDs do not require their own cabinets. In fact, most units come with a carrying case that allows them to be safely transported and stored without denting or damaging the unit itself. It's important that you make sure that your carrying case is kept in a safe place, and that you pick cases that are waterproof or dust proof if they are applicable to your storage situation, as an example, a swimming pool would best be fitted with an AED in a waterproof case.

However, if your AED is not equipped with a case it is recommended that you keep them away from high heat and humidity because this could damage the battery and/or electronics inside the unit. You should also avoid placing them near windows or exterior walls because these areas may have temperature differences compared to other parts of your building which could damage the unit's sensitive electronics should they be exposed to condensation.

3. What Supplies Should I Keep With My AED?

While there are no specific rules regarding what should be kept with an automatic external defibrillator (AED), it is recommended that you keep an extra battery and electrode pads as well as any other supplies needed for proper use of your AED in close proximity to your unit.

In addition to spare replacement parts, you may want to consider keeping other first aid supplies close by. This can include non-latex gloves, bandages, blankets or anything else you think might come in handy in the case of an emergency.

The Takeaway

Hopefully you feel that now you are better informed and are ready to take the next step in keeping your loved ones, tenants, patrons or employees safe by purchasing an AED. Having an AED is a tremendous asset when it comes to situations of cardiac arrest and could help to one day save a life. 

Still have questions? Contact a professional like those at AED Advantage, they are one of the largest distributors of defibrillators and AED replacement parts in Canada and their knowledgeable staff will point you in the right direction when it comes to purchasing your AED, and a suitable place to put it.

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