How to store AEDs in cold weather

Did you know that cold weather can significantly affect the performance of your AED?
From draining the battery to freezing the water-based gel found in the pads, the decisions you make about AED storage in winter can make a big difference to your defibrillator’s rescue-readiness. It’s therefore vital to consult AED storage guidelines, to ensure your device is always ready to save a life.

Can AEDs be stored outside?

Most public access defibrillators are stored outdoors in cabinets to make them available all day, every day. If you choose to store your AED outside, make sure to get an appropriate cabinet for your device. Storing your cabinet incorrectly could make your defibrillator less effective in an emergency.

This is because extremes in temperature, which are much more likely outside, may compromise an AED’s ability to function properly. Direct sunlight exposure in summer, for example, could raise temperatures in a glass-fronted storage cabinet above 65°C, the point at which batteries can become dangerous. Meanwhile, being exposed to sub-zero temperatures in winter could affect battery performance, freeze the gel in the defibrillator pads, and/or reduce the life of the electrodes.

Ask your supplier to advise you which cabinet is most suitable for your device.

What are the ideal AED storage requirements?

To counter these issues, each defibrillator manufacturer will include an ‘operating temperature range’ and ‘standby temperature range’ in the device’s user guide or technical data sheet. At Cardiac Science, we recommend an AED storage temperature of 0°C to 50°C to ensure optimal performance.

We therefore advise that AEDs are stored away from direct sunlight, and ideally inside or in a heated outdoor cabinet during the winter months.

The Cardiac Science difference

The good news is that our Powerheart® G5 AED performs daily self-checks to ensure that all its essential components are present and operational, which includes a specific check on defibrillator temperature.

To avoid any issues occurring in extreme temperatures, we recommend you check your Powerheart® G5 every day to confirm the indicator is RescueReady® green. If anything worrying is found, your defibrillator will alert you by beeping every 30 seconds and the RescueReady® indicator will be red.

If the indicator is red, you can diagnose the issue by opening the lid on your Powerheart® G5 and listening to the prompt. If it says ‘maintenance required’, press and hold both buttons on the display panel until the voice prompt says ‘diagnostic mode’. The AED display panel will then diagnose the issue. E.g. If the display reads ‘TEMP TOO COLD, ADJUST STORAGE TEMP’ you can remedy this by moving your defibrillator to a warmer location.

Want to find out more about defibrillator storage requirements?

As well as our Powerheart® G5 AEDs, we provide a full range of storage cabinets that can help protect your defibrillator in cold weather.
Plus, don’t hesitate to contact our team if you have any questions about how to increase the life of your defibrillator.

Posted on December 14, 2018