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Defibrillators & Accessories FAQs

Which defibrillator should I buy?

Read our handy defibrillator buying guide to find out about the different types of defibrillators and their features.

What's the difference between an automatic defibrillator and a semi-automatic defibrillator?

A fully automatic defibrillator delivers a shock automatically and is ideal for use by untrained individuals and the general public.

A semi-automatic defibrillator calculates when the shock needs to be delivered and prompts the user to press a button to administer it. Semi-automatic defibrillators are therefore more suitable for a trained user or healthcare professional.

Read our defibrillator information guide for more information.

Can a defibrillator, also known as a PAD (public access defibrillator), or an AED (automated external defibrillator) be dangerous?

No, a defibrillator will only shock if a shock is required so you are be unable to shock someone maliciously or by accident. Semi-automatic AEDs will advise responders when a shock is required and responders have to press a button to deliver shock, while fully-auto defibrillators automatically deliver shocks as necessary, if a shock is required. Both kinds of defibs provide clear warnings in advance of a shock being administered so that responders know not to touch the patient at that time.

Are AED (automated external defibrillator) pads universal?

No they are not, you will need to make sure that you purchase the correct electrodes (pads) for the make and model of defib that you have. If you are unsure please contact us at or on 0800 612 6537 where a member of our knowledgeable team will be able to assist you.

Is there a legal requirement to have a defibrillator in your workplace or public venue?

Until recently, there were no legal requirements to have a defibrillator in any location in the UK. Most workplaces and public spaces currently have no legal requirement to provide an AED, with schools being the exception. The Department for Education have announced that by the end of the academic year 2022/2023, all schools in England should has at least one AED on the premises.

Even without legislation, many businesses and public bodies recognise the life-saving role of an AED and choose to purchase a defib for the workplace or as a public access device (PAD)

Where is my nearest defibrillator?

If you would like to know where your nearest defib is, you can check here;

This helpful tool to show all defibs that have been registered with The Circuit - The National Defibrillator Network. If you are an AED owner / guardian and would like to register your device you can do so here.

Can an AED be used on infants?

Defibs can be used on infants from the age of 1 years old. Ensure that 1 pad goes on their front and one on their back, which is a different placement to those required for patients over 8 years old. Please check your defib and user manual for the exact pad placement, as some models of defibs use different pads for adults and children while others have a key or toggle switch to reduce the amount of energy (joules) to make them suitable to use on children.

Can a defibrillator be used on someone with a pacemaker?

Yes they can - most pacemakers are implanted on the upper left side of a persons chest. When it comes to using an automated external defibrillator (AED), the pads are usually placed on the upper right side of the chest and on the side of the rib cage under the left arm, so a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) shouldn’t get in the way. Always check your defib user manual for correct pad placement for your device.

How do I know if my defibrillator is ready to be used?

Most defibs have a green flashing LED to show that the defib is ready to be used; there are a few models which may show a tick or solid green circle instead. Defibs do daily, weekly and / or monthly self-checks, and if the device finds a fault then it will show a red flashing LED or X instead. It is recommended that defibs should be visually checked on a weekly basis to make sure they are always ready to be used in an emergency. If the red warning is showing it may mean that the pads or batteries require replacement and these should be checked and replacements ordered if necessary. More information can be found in our Defibrillator Maintenance help guide, the user manual for the defib that you have, or contact our team on 0800 612 6537 or for help and assistance.

What to do if your defib starts to flash red or there is a spanner (maintenance) warning symbol?

Firstly, refer to the user manual this will have a section for troubleshooting that will show the different reasons why your defib may be flashing or showing a warning symbol. If you no longer have the user manual you should be able to find this find this on the manufacturers website, alternatively, we may have this under technical data tab in our defib section.

Who should inspect defibrillators? Can I get an engineer to inspect my AED?

You can inspect your AED and accessories for rescue ready status & expiry dates yourself, or book our defib inspection service. An engineer will check the defib and advise if any corrective actions are required to ensure that the unit is ready to use in an emergency.

What is the best way to remember to order new pads and/or batteries?

We offer a FREE reminder service where you will receive a text or email to remind you to purchase pads and batteries - you can setup Defibrillator Reminders here.

What do I need to do if my defib has been used in a rescue attempt?

You will need to change the pads if your defib has been used, this may be a combined battery and pad unit, depending on the defib you have. You may wish to consider keeping a spare set with your defib so that you can instantly replace them. Alternatively, for most models of defibs you will be able to get a replacement set of pads by the next working day

How much is a Defibrillator?

A Defib (AED) can start from around £800 ex VAT and these will include a set of adult pads and the battery.

There are additional accessories that you can purchase including paediatric pads, carry cases, wall brackets and indoor / outdoor cabinets. It is recommended that you purchase suitable storage solution to protect your defib which also makes it easier to locate in an emergency.

Can defibrillators be kept outside or in low temperatures?

Defibrillators can be kept outside but must be kept in specially designed outdoor heated cabinets to protect them against the elements. Defibrillators have an operating temperature, usually between 0 °C to +50 °C, if the temperature falls below 0 °C the defib may not work as expected. Prolonged exposure to low temperatures is likely to significantly shorten the service life of the battery and affect the performance of the pads. Most defibs have an IP Rating of IP55 meaning that prolonged exposure to wind (dust) and rain may also damage the defib meaning that it may not work when required in an emergency.


(doc:743 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.


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