Choosing the right defibrillator for your business can be difficult. With lots of defibrillators on the market, and with a range of different health and safety regulations to adhere to, it can be easy to become overwhelmed and confused.

Here we have listed five things health and safety managers working in the facilities management sector need to be aware of when it comes to purchasing a defibrillator.


The legality of a defibrillator – are they essential within the workplace?

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 requires employers to provide sufficient equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure employees receive immediate attention if required.

Unlike fire extinguishers and first-aid kits, defibrillators are not a legal requirement for UK businesses.

But given that there are around 60,000 individuals who suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) outside of hospital in the UK every year, there is no doubt that AEDs should be a mandatory purchase for health and safety managers. Without immediate treatment, 90-95% of SCA casualties will die, yet if a defibrillator is used and effective CPR is performed within 3-5 minutes, the chance of survival increases from 6% to 74%.


What is the best defibrillator for my organisation?

Different work environments bring different challenges and you need a defibrillator that suits your workspace.

To help determine which defibrillators best suit your needs, you need to assess the IP Rating given to each AED. IP Ratings are also known as Ingress Protection Ratings and this will show you the level of protection that an electronic device has against dust and moisture.

The first number relates to the protection against dust and the second number relates to the protection against moisture and so the higher the IP Rating the greater protection a defibrillator will have. Examples of IP Ratings include:

• IP21: protected from touch and against condensation
• IP44: protected from tools, small wires and water splashing
• IP56: protected against limited dust ingress and strong jets of water

The hazards in your workplace will determine the IP rating your defibrillator requires, so it is important to consider which model is best for your organisation.

Here, we have listed the top three defibrillators which are best suited for facilities management companies.

1. HeartSine 350p/360p/500p Gateway
2. Physio Control Lifepak CR2 with WIFI
3. Zoll AED 3


What about training, do you need to be certified to use a defibrillator?

No. There is a common misconception that you must be medically trained to use a defibrillator during a cardiac emergency. You don’t have to be trained to save a life.

Technological advancements within the defibrillator industry equip the devices with features including audio and visual prompts and real-time CPR feedback.

While there is no law in regards to having a defibrillator on site, you should consider AED requirements in your first aid needs assessment as stated by the UK Resuscitation Council:

“All businesses and organisations will undertake a first aid needs assessment to determine the level of first aid provision within their workplace as a part of their responsibilities to protect the safety of their workforce and visitors. As an organisation or company it is a legal requirement to take precautions to reduce foreseeable risks, to document this and be able to present it to the HSE if requested. As part of this assessment, it is quite appropriate to consider the risk of a cardiac arrest occurring in the workplace and investing in automated external defibrillators (AED).”


Do defibrillators require maintenance and how many do I need to purchase?

Defibrillator maintenance is an essential part of your health and safety protocols. Depending on the size of your building, common sense will inform you how many defibrillators you require. As a rule of thumb, a defibrillator should be able to be retrieved within a 3-minute round trip, so the number of staff and size of your building should inform your decision.

All defibrillators require batteries and electrode pads and these accessories are fundamental to the upkeep of the defibrillator. Program Management Software, available on certain models, monitors the defibrillator’s accessories remotely and alerts owners when the device needs attention. Owners have the option to invest in defibshop’s defibcare to assist with maintenance.


Storing & signing my defibrillator – what do I need to do?

How you store your defibrillator is another critical consideration. It’s paramount you place your defibrillator in either a cabinet or wall mount to ensure the device is safe, secure and easy to access.

You should also make sure the defibrillator is adequately signed to ensure it is highly visible and easy to find should it be required.

Placing the device in a central location assists with quick retrieval in the event of an emergency and helps reduce any delays in treatment delivery.

Storing a defibrillator outdoor requires greater protection from the elements; investing in an outdoor cabinet provides heating for the device and accessories, ensuring it is always ready for use.


How do I purchase a defibrillator?

defibshop are the UK’s largest independent defibrillator supplier and have been providing the facilities management sector with life-saving equipment since 2005. We have a range of defibrillators that are suitable for facilities management companies and offer finance options to make the cost of purchasing an AED more affordable.

defibshop are committed to equipping everyone with the skills and knowledge to save a life. Speak to one of our Product Specialists on 0161 776 7422 or fill out our Contact Form.