Where are defibrillators found

In 2023, approximately 20,000 Australians had a cardiac arrest out of hospital. Their heart stopped pumping properly, and their body began to shut down.

Sadly only around 8 in 100 of them survived. We need to do better. And we can.  

When someone experiences a cardiac arrest, their heart goes into an irregular rhythm, and the most effective way to get it back on track is by using a defibrillator. 

We could greatly increase their chance of survival if there were more defibrillator found nearby. A persons chance of survival could be as high as 74 percent if we could get a defibrillator shoc    king someone within three minutes.

Why you should read this:


That’s why we’re here to talk about where defibrillators are found. Whether you’re a business owner looking to keep your employees safe or just someone who wants to be prepared in case of an emergency, knowing the optimal locations for defibrillators is important, and knowing the right defibrillator for the right place can make a difference.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of defibrillator placement. We’ll cover everything from understanding what AEDs are and how they work, to how they are saving lives in various settings like workplaces, schools, gyms, and even homes.

By the end, you’ll be a pro at knowing where to find these heart-starting heroes.

So, let’s get started on this journey to demystify defibrillators and help you make informed decisions about where to place them. Your future self (and the person you save) will thank you!

What Defibrillators actually do

Before we jump into the best places to put defibrillators, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what they actually are. AEDs, or Automated External Defibrillators, are portable devices that can save lives by delivering a controlled electrical shock to the heart during a cardiac arrest.

Think of it like a jumper cable for the heart. When someone has a cardiac arrest their heart loses it’s rhythm. The AED analyzes the heartbeat to determine if this has happened. If so, it guides the user through the process of delivering the shock, which allows the heart to reset itself and restore the heart’s normal rhythm.

The best part? AEDs are designed to be user-friendly, even for people without medical training. The device provides clear, step-by-step voice and visual instructions, so anyone can use it in an emergency.

The importance of AED accessibility and visibility

Now, here’s where the importance of AED placement comes in. Every minute without defibrillation decreases the chances of survival by 10%? That’s why having AEDs in easily accessible and visible locations is so crucial.

When someone collapses from a cardiac arrest, the first few minutes are critical. If an AED is nearby and can be quickly retrieved, it significantly improves the person’s odds of survival

But for that to happen people need to know where to find them. That’s why it’s essential to place AEDs in prominent, well-marked locations that are easy to spot in an emergency.

So, whether you’re in a workplace, school, gym, or any other public space, keep an eye out for those AED signs. Knowing where to find these life-saving devices could make all the difference in a cardiac emergency.

Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Programs

Now that we know how important AED accessibility is, let’s talk about Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs. Councils and community groups are launching these initiatives to make AEDs more widely available in public spaces, so more people can receive life-saving treatment in case of a cardiac emergency.

PAD programs involve placing defibrillators in strategic locations, training people on how to use them, and raising awareness about their importance. The goal is to create a network of accessible AEDs that can be quickly deployed when needed.

Examples of successful PAD programs in various communities

One incredible example of a successful PAD program comes from the small coastal town of Yamba in Australia. The Yamba Rotary Club recognized the importance of accessible defibrillators.

Inspired by three recent cases where individuals collapsed at local clubs and were saved by on-site defibrillators, the Rotary Club set out to make AEDs more readily available throughout the community. They discovered that while some defibrillators were present in local businesses, none were accessible 24/7.

In partnership with the Yamba business community, the Rotary Club helped fund the installation of four new defibrillators that are available around the clock. These devices can be found outside real estate offices, an engineering firm, and a sports center, ensuring that help is never far away.

This is just one example of how PAD programs can make a real difference in communities around the world. By increasing AED accessibility and awareness, these initiatives are helping to save lives and create safer, more prepared communities.

Optimal Defibrillator Locations – General Guidelines

High Traffic Locations: When it comes to placing AEDs, one of the most important factors to consider is foot traffic. The more people that pass by an area, the higher the chances that someone might need an AED in that location. That’s why it’s crucial to place AEDs in high-traffic areas like main entrances, lobbies, and communal spaces.

A common mistake people make is putting AED’s in a low traffic area, for example they might put it in the work office, instead of the factory where most workers are.

Centrally located and easily accessible

In an emergency, every second counts. That’s why AEDs should be centrally located and easily accessible. Ideally, an AED should be reachable within a 1-3 minute walk from any point in the building or area it’s meant to serve. 

This ensures that if someone collapses, an AED can be quickly retrieved and used to potentially save their life.

Well-marked and visible

An AED is only useful if people can find it when they need it. That’s why it’s essential to make sure AEDs are well-marked and visible. 

AED cabinets should be clearly labeled and easy to spot, even from a distance. 3 dimensional wall signs can be more visible in hallways and having AED on premises signs can alert everyone who enters you have one.

Locations with a higher risk of cardiac emergencies

Some locations have a higher risk of cardiac emergencies due to the nature of the activities that take place there, or due to the people that are in that area.

For example, at a recreation centre having the defibrillator close to the gym area is practical because strenuous physical activity can put stress on the heart. Similarly, locations where there are a lot of elderly individuals or people with known heart conditions should also prioritize having AEDs on hand. For example in a school, you might want to place a defibrillator in the school block where a teacher with a family history of cardiac emergencies teaches.

Ensuring Proper AED Storage

While having AEDs in the right locations is important, it’s also critical to ensure they’re stored properly. AED cabinets offer an ideal storage solution, as they’re weatherproof, dust-resistant, and designed to protect the device from water intrusion.

In Australia, the recommended mounting height for AEDs is around 1.2-1.4m, which ensures they’re easily accessible for most adults. It’s also important to avoid storing AEDs in areas with extreme temperatures or where they might be difficult to find.

Interestingly, many AED cabinets are designed for outdoor use, allowing them to be placed in public areas like parks, beaches, and community centers. This greatly enhances AED accessibility and helps ensure that these life-saving devices are available where they’re needed most. If you want to learn more we’ve got a great cabinet guide.

Defibrillators in Specific Locations

Importance of AEDs in the workplace

If you’re a business owner or manager, listen up! We think having a defibrillator should be like having a fire extinguisher. A necessary safety measure for a business. Imagine if one of your employees or customers were to experience a cardiac emergency while on the job. Would you be prepared to help them?

Here’s what we think is one of the best defibrillators for the workplace.

A tradie’s life was saved at his workplace thanks to a timely decision to do overtime and the presence of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Dylan Holmes, a workshop operator in Mackay, Queensland, went into cardiac arrest while on duty, but swift action with the AED by his colleagues  revived him. There are so many good reasons to have one at work.


When we send our kids off to school, we trust that they’ll be safe and well-cared for. But what happens if a student, teacher, or visitor experiences a cardiac emergency on school grounds? That’s where having defibrillators found in the school comes in.

While rare, cardiac arrests can affect children, and these events can be devastating for families and communities.  By having an AED on hand and training staff members on how to use it, schools can help improve the chances of survival for anyone who experiences a cardiac arrest on campus.

Consider one example: Misty and Jimmy Barrett are thankful to Carver Elementary School staff for saving their 11-year-old son Luke’s life when he went into sudden cardiac arrest. The school nurse and staff used an AED to shock him twice before EMS took him to the hospital. Luke, who has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) had a predisposition to cardiac arrest. Misty and Jimmy express gratitude for the school staff’s quick actions, potentially preventing a tragedy.

Gyms and Fitness Centers

 Picture this: you’re at the gym, pushing yourself to the limit on the treadmill or lifting weights. Your heart is pumping, your adrenaline is flowing, and you’re feeling great. But then, suddenly, something feels off. You experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness. You might be having a cardiac event.

It’s a scary thought, but it’s one that gym owners and fitness center managers need to take seriously. The truth is, the physical stress of exercise can sometimes trigger cardiac issues, even in seemingly healthy individuals. In fact, studies have shown that the risk of sudden cardiac arrest is higher during and immediately after vigorous exercise.

 Defibrillators are saving lives in gyms. Check out the example of one bodybuilder who now has a second chance at life.

Other Locations

When it comes to AED placement, it’s important to think beyond just indoor locations like workplaces, schools, and gyms. Outdoor public spaces such as parks, beaches, and recreational areas are equally important. These locations are often filled with people engaging in physical activity, and cardiac emergencies can happen without warning. By placing AEDs near lifeguard stations, park pavilions, or trailheads, we can ensure that someone experiencing a cardiac arrest can receive quick treatment.

Similarly, shopping malls, retail centers, airports, and train stations are all prime locations for defibrillator placement. These spaces are often bustling with activity, with people of all ages and backgrounds passing through on a daily basis. In the event of a cardiac emergency, having an AED readily available in these high-traffic areas could be the difference between life and death.

The growing trend of home Defibrillators

While defibrillators are commonly found in public spaces and workplaces, there’s a growing trend of individuals choosing to keep these life-saving devices in their homes. 

And it’s no wonder why – with the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease and the knowledge that most cardiac arrests occur at home, having one on hand can provide an extra layer of protection and peace of mind.

If you’re considering purchasing an AED for your home, there are a few key factors to keep in mind when it comes to placement. First and foremost, Make sure the defibrillators found in a central, easily accessible location that can be reached quickly in an emergency. 

It’s also important to ensure that everyone in the household knows where the defibrillator is located and how to use it. 

You’ll also want to consider, budget, ease of use, and maintenance.

So, if you’ve been considering purchasing an AED for your home, now is the time to take action. With the right placement, training, and maintenance, this small device could one day make a monumental impact on someone’s life – perhaps even your own.

The Bottom Line

Throughout this article, we’ve explored the critical role that defibrillator placement plays in improving cardiac arrest survival rates. We’ve learned that AEDs are user-friendly, life-saving devices that can be used by anyone, anywhere, to help someone experiencing a cardiac emergency.

We’ve also discussed the importance of placing defibrillatorss in high-traffic, easily accessible locations, and examined some of the most common and important places to find these devices, including workplaces, schools, gyms, public spaces, and even homes.

As awareness about the importance of AEDs continues to grow, we can expect to see these devices becoming even more widely available and accessible in the coming years. 

Many cities and communities are already taking steps to increase AED placement and training, and some are even passing laws that require certain businesses and public spaces to have AEDs on hand.

But there is still more work to be done. By continuing to educate the public about the importance of AEDs and advocating for their placement in more locations, we can help create a future where cardiac arrest survival rates are higher than ever before.

 Let’s get prepared.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you understand the importance of AEDs and are passionate about improving cardiac arrest outcomes in your community. So why not take that passion and turn it into action?

Start by advocating for AED placement in the places that matter most to you – your workplace, your child’s school, your favorite gym or community center. Talk to decision-makers about the importance of having these devices readily available and offer to help with fundraising or training efforts.

And if you’re considering purchasing an AED for your home or business, be sure to check out our “What Defibrillator Should I Buy?” tool. This handy resource will ask you a series of simple questions about your needs and preferences, and then provide personalized recommendations for the best AED options for you.

By working together we can make sure there are more defibrillators found and we can create safer, more prepared communities for ourselves and our loved ones.

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