AED cabinets may be placed in different areas depending on the building, but the most important detail is the same—wherever you place your cabinet, make sure the cabinet is visible and able to be accessed quickly and easily.
An effective AED Program implements a 3-minute response time from the collapse of the victim to retrieving the AED and using it on the victim. If you have a larger facility, you can use the 3-minute guide to figure out how many AEDs you may need and where to place them.
Mount your AED cabinet in accordance with ADA guidelines:
In order to stay in compliance with the ADA, your cabinet needs to be placed no more than 48 inches above the ground. This allows someone who is shorter or in a wheelchair to retrieve the AED if needed.
Place your AED in an easily accessible area
AEDs need to be able to be accessible to bystanders and employees at all times. Many people place their AEDs in the same easily accessible location as their first aid kit or fire extinguisher. The American Heart Association suggests placing the cabinet near areas such as:
- Common areas or hallways
- Cafeterias or break rooms
- Customer service desks
Avoid keeping the AED in areas that are commonly out of sight for employees and/or patrons. Don’t put your AED in a storage closet, basement, or behind a locked door—this makes it difficult for rescuers to access it when needed.
Note how your surroundings may affect the AED
If your AED is in direct sunlight, it can affect it negatively. The constant heat from the sun can ruin the pads, battery, or the device itself, making it useless during an emergency situation. Avoid placing the AED in direct sunlight.
If your AED may inadvertently get exposed to water because it is near a pool or other water source, ensure it’s always stored in the cabinet to help protect the integrity of the device.
The longer a person goes without effective CPR and defibrillation, the less likely they are to survive. That is why it is so important for your AED to be accessible and for your personnel to be trained in CPR and how to use the AED.