Where do I place an AED on my site?


Once a facility has decided to place an Automated External Defibrillator in a particular facility, they are encouraged to implement all of the following best practices:

  1. Facility staff should complete a medically approved,  Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) & Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training program, review the program regularly, and re-certify annually (or as certification expires)
  2. Ensure that at least one trained staff member is on shift at any given time of the day and/or night (depending on shift patterns of the facility).
  3. The facility should ensure that an appropriate AED (CSA Approved) is used and that the AED is maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations (including regular checks & Preventative Maintenance).
  4. The facility should ensure that an internal response plan has been created to ensure a timely response with an AED to the patient’s side at all times, throughout the facility. This response plan should include a main contact person/phone number that can ensure 911 has been called, the response team members have been notified, and that the AED will be brought to the patient’s side.

Public Access AEDs should be: 

  • Highly visible with proper signage (similar to fire extinguishers)
  • Near a phone for calling 911
  • Placed near high risk areas where population traffic is the greatest and where trained rescuers can easily retrieve the device
  • Centrally placed in a centre to allow for a 3 minute retrieval (1½ minutes to the device and 1½ minutes back to the victim)

Public Access AEDs should NOT be: 

  • Locked in a drawer or cabinet out of sight, this also creates the likelihood of not being inspected

Public Access AEDs may be:

  • Placed in AED cabinets with a glass panel equipped with an alarm to deter theft

See also: Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada position statement on public access to AEDs.


Calgary, Alberta, Canada