How to store your AED in the winter
Not only do cold temperatures increase the likelihood of hypothermia — which can lead to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) — but weather extremes may also negatively affect the performance of your AED.
Whether you keep an AED for personal use in your vehicle or your commercial fleet is equipped with durable AEDs, like the Zoll AED Plus, it’s smart to understand how cold weather can impact your AED.
AED batteries drain more quickly in colder temperatures and the water-based gel found in some AED pads may freeze. AEDs that are too cold may also fail to operate, rendering them useless in emergency situations. The way you store your AED in winter can make a huge difference in your AED’s rescue-readiness.
Each AED manufacturer lists the optimal operating temperature ranges for their devices; typically, 32° to 122°F. To prolong the lifespan and ensure the efficacy of your AED, your unit should not be stored in a place where temperatures go below freezing or above 122°F.
Many public access AEDs are stored outdoors, for around-the-clock availability. If you have an outdoor public access AED, be sure to invest in an all-weather cabinet and check the device’s batteries and pads monthly.
If you keep an AED in your car or work vehicle, insulated cases may help protect the device from extreme temperatures. We also recommend storing AEDs in the heated cabin (not the trunk!) and taking them indoors when temperatures are projected to fall below freezing. You may also want to invest in an extra battery, just in case cooler temperatures are extra hard on your battery!
Fortunately, most AEDs, like the Cardiac Science Powerheart, for example, perform daily self-checks to ensure that all its essential components are operational. These self-diagnostic checks assess defibrillator temperature.
If you’re AED is beeping or chirping, it requires immediate attention. Take the device indoors and allow it to return to normal operating temperatures. This may take at least 30 minutes. (Which, obviously, wouldn’t work in an SCA situation!) Then, follow the prompts to clear error messages and return the device to a state of rescue-readiness.
Keep your AED rescue-ready, regardless of the season. Invest in an affordable Cardio Partners preventative maintenance plan. Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org — we’re ready to help!
DISCLAIMER: The information included in this post and on our website is not intended as legal advice. As legislation changes often, this post may inadvertently contain inaccurate or incomplete information. We urge you to contact your state representative should you require more information about current AED, CPR, and Good Samaritan laws in your state.
DISCLAIMER: Information found on the aed.com blog is intended to educate, inform, and motivate readers to make their health and wellness decisions after consulting with their healthcare provider. The authors are not healthcare providers. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.