We recommend having defibrillators available to the public wherever possible.
That way, it can help a wider number of people – for example, if a passer-by has a cardiac arrest.
Ideally, your defibrillator should be:
- in a public area to benefit as many people as possible
- as easy as possible for people to access
- well signposted.
When you register your defibrillator on The Circuit, you can include information about opening hours and where to find it. This will help others if your defibrillator is not always publicly accessible.
The best choice is an outside defibrillator in an unlocked cabinet. This means anyone can use it in an emergency.
If you keep your defibrillator outside, you’ll need a temperature-controlled cabinet to keep it above 0°Celsius.
An electrician can install an outdoor cabinet for around £250. This depends on the type of building. If your building has listed status, you will need to check if you can install a cabinet.
If you keep your defibrillator indoors, you can choose between an alarmed cabinet and a simple bracket.
Brackets are cheaper – prices start at around £20.
But in some situations, they’re not suitable. For example, in a public place or somewhere like a school where children might tamper with it, we recommend an alarmed cabinet instead.
You can see our guide to typical costs for a single defibrillator.
Locked or unlocked cabinets?
We recommend an unlocked outdoor cabinet in most circumstances. This is so that your defibrillator is easy to reach in an emergency. If your defibrillator is in a locked cabinet, it will take people longer to access it in an emergency. Experience to date shows that theft and vandalism are extremely uncommon.
If you choose a locked cabinet, you can add the access code when you register your defibrillator on The Circuit, the national defibrillator network. Go to 'Registering your defibrillator'.
It means the ambulance service can see the access code and give it to the person who makes the first 999 call, once they confirm they are dealing with a cardiac arrest.