A defibrillator is a computerized medical device which extracts an electrical current through the chest and aims to shock the heart back into a functional rhythm, allowing it to pump at a normal rate again. The rapid response which is triggered through the AED can significantly improve the quality of life of the survivor.
An AED can be located both indoors and outdoors. A frequently asked question is ‘How should an AED be stored if it is located outdoors?’
This is a very important question, as one does not want to purchase an AED, to then not store it correctly and for it then not to be in a working and functional condition.
It is common for schools, sports clubs, communities and shopping areas to store their defibrillators outside.
An AED should never be stored or used in temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. There is, however one exception, this being one manufacturer which recommends their AED to be stored above 10 degrees celsius.
The reasoning for AEDs to be stored in temperatures from 0 or above is so that the batteries do not deteriorate in performance.
However, if you need to use your AED in temperatures below 0 then of course, by all mean you should as it could be an emergency. Manufacturers simply provide this information as a recommendation. Just to be safe, it is important to make sure the AED is stored in a temperature above 0.
This could mean using a Temperature Controlled or Heated Cabinet. These are relatively new to the market. They offer either a heating mechanism or a heating and cooling mechanism. They’re generally powered through the use of the mains.
Several outdoor cabinets are made from plastic, which is something we would discourage people from purchasing. As quite often, they get easily damaged by sunlight, which can also damage the AED itself. Plastic is less durable than steel, so vandals could harm the cabinet even further.
Another factor to consider when purchasing an outdoor AED cabinet is how to access it. With the outdoor cabinet, you can either lock it or choose not to.
It is rather common to keep your AED cabinet locked in order to prevent theft. However, if there is an emergency then the AED would not be easily accessible if it is locked.
Another option is to have a a fitted alarm within the cabinet with the intention of deterring theft and/or vandalism.
There are several options for the use of a lock, either a key lock, combination lock or a digital keypad.
A digital keypad is useful in the sense that it alerts you if the battery is running low. Any combination of digits can be used and set by the user. It is very easy to use and also very effective.
For those of you who prefer a key lock, the keypad can be disabled and the cabinet can be opened by the key provided.
Another key factor to consider when locating and positioning an AED outdoors is to keep a landline telephone nearby, in order for the emergency services to be contacted immediately, when necessary.
Before making this important and rather large purchase of an AED, it is crucial to fully understand the conditions in which an AED requires to remain in an operational state.
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