WHERE TO START
"You don't have to be a fireman to use a fire extinguisher, and you don't have to be a paramedic to use a defibrillator."
You have made the right decision to look into providing a lifesaving defibrillator for your community/business. London Hearts Charity will work with you every step of the way to implement your project, bringing it to completion and ensuring it is fully supported and continues to keep your community heartsafe for years to come.
The first step prior to any defibrillator installation is deciding the best location to site it. There are a number of factors to consider, including potential footfall and how easy it will be to access to equipment in the event it is needed in an emergency situation. Village halls, pubs and disused telephone boxes are some good location ideas to consider, given they are normally centrally located and act as community hubs. Any public access defibrillator (PAD) site will need a power point for the defibrillator cabinet; this keeps the defibrillator at optimum temperature during the colder months as the defibrillator has it's own internal battery which can be affected by exposure to cold weather.
We can help you decide on the best defibrillator and cabinet/storage solution for your needs. We appreciate this may seem like a big investment, but you really can't put a price on a life, and going for the cheapest option isn't always best. Although most defibrillators are made to be used by anyone, there are still some considerations to think about. For example, some defibrillators require you to switch between adult/paediatric mode, or to swap the electrode pads, which could cost you precious time in an emergency. You can find our buyer's guide here which takes an indepth look at some of the most popular defibrillator models on the market to help you make a decision.
It's equally as important to ensure that your defibrillator is well looked after. We encourage you to make your defibrillator public access - this means placing it in an external cabinet affixed to an outdoor wall so that it can be accessed 24/7 by anyone who needs it. However we appreciate that many businesses and organisations would prefer to store their defibrillator inside their premises. We're on hand to answer your questions to determine which option we recommend for you.
We can't stress the value of a defibrillator enough, as we're sure you will agree that you simply cannot put a price on a life. As an estimate, a defibrillator and cabinet package will cost somewhere between £1000 - £1800 depending on the equipment chosen.
*Please note that installation is not included as standard, although we will always try and help find a recommended electrician.
Other costs to consider include the electricity for supplying power to the defibrillator cabinet and the replacement of the defibrillator battery. Electricity costs are usually reasonably low at around £10-£30 per year (dependent upon climate.) The electricity is needed to heat the cabinet so that the gel in the electrode pads doesn't freeze, and render the pads ineffective. The battery will also need to be changed every 5 years (as an estimate) with the cost of this being around £120-£160. This again depends on the make and model of the defibrillator you choose.
London Hearts provides a training awareness session as part of our PAD package. There is no legal requirement to train anyone in how to use a defibrillator. However, failing to provide or recommend a training basic training session may be seen as somewhat negligent. Therefore, we strongly recommend you arrange a training session to familiarise yourself and your community/workforce with a defibrillator and CPR techniques.
Our sessions are primarily centred on knowledge and confidence building. We understand that it may seem daunting to have to use a defibrillator but our aim is to reassure you that anyone can step in and potentially save a life.
London Hearts can offer installation with costs varying £100-£150 and we can liaise with you to advise on dates the electricians will be in your area. It can be more cost-effective to get your local electrician to fit the equipment and we would advise considering this option as well.
The installer must be able to produce a certificate to state that the install has been done to British Standards (Usually a BS7671, but can also be referred to as a Minor Electrical Installation Works or Electrical Installation Certificate).
London Hearts can also provide installation instructions for each cabinet type to assist with installation.
Whilst we can't determine exactly how long the fundraising process will be for you, once your order is confirmed, we aim to deliver the equipment to you within 3-5 days. Once the installation is complete, we will then register your site with your local ambulance service. Confirmation from the Ambulance service that your site is now on their system may take a week or so. Therefore realistically completion of a project may take 2-3 weeks. Training is generally booked a few weeks after delivery. *Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person CPR and defibrillator training sessions have been temporarily suspended. We have some online training videos and Zoom sessions available instead for the time being, until sessions are able to resume safely.