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AED Placement

Where do we put our AED?

Now that you have an AED at your facility your next question is....Where do we put the AED? Site selection is a question that we get asked about quite frequently! has complied some important questions and information to help you with this common question.. Where should we put the AED?

When considering where to place your AED here is some questions you should first ask.

1. Where are the trained rescuers located in the building?

2. Are there any high risk areas within your facility (workout facility, running track, electrical rooms)

3. Where is the highest concentration of people? (Usually in schools it is the gym)

4. How secure is your facility?

5. Are there areas that are locked after normal hours?

6. Is your AED going to be in a cabinet? Alarmed?

7. Where is the nearest phone?

8. What is the most central point within your facility?

9. Is there an area that is always manned? Security Desk?

10. What is your form of communication? (two-way radios, phones, intercom)

Once you have the information complied now comes that decision? Think of the following:

  • AED's should be visible to everyone. No one is going to use it or even ask for it if they don't know it exists.

  • AED cabinets help deter theft and allow AED's to be visible.

  • AED's should never be locked up in a drawer somewhere. Out of site out of mind! Regular inspection checks probably will not get done. Regular inspections are critical to assure AED readiness.

  • AED's should be near a phone for calling 911.

  • AED's should be centrally located within the highest risk and most concentrated population area and near trained rescuers.

  • AED's should be placed near high risk areas.

  • AED's should be placed well within 3 minutes of anywhere within the facility. (That means 1.5 minutes to the device and 1.5 minutes back at a brisk walking pace).

  • The semi-recessed AED cabinets are appropriate where Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations are a consideration. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that objects not protrude more than 4 inches into foot traffic areas of open aisles and walkways (hallways) unless the object's bottom edge is no higher than 27 inches from the ground.

In schools think of the following:

  • Gyms are usually high risk areas and usually have the high concentrations of people both during school and for after school events.
  • Look at the main office area. These areas are usually staffed or supervised the most within a school.
  • Look at areas that are locked in the evening time. These usually don't make very good locations because of theirlack of accessibility.
  • Most schools fear theft and lean toward locking AED's away. We feel this is a bad idea and other solutions can usually be found to balance security and accessibility.

We haven't covered all possible scenarios. It is a good idea to get several opinions, keeping in mind accessibility! Accessibility by everyone (this means don't put the AED 6 feet high on a wall). Education and getting the word out about what an AED does, why you have it and its importance will help encourage everyone to take ownership of the AED and its security. Talk with your medical director and get their thoughts on placement. The American Heart Association publishes valuable information about AED placement.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be mistaken for legal or medical advice. Please use good judgment when selecting a good location for your AED and consult your AED medical director for more information.