In the United States over 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) occur every year, with only 12% of victims who suffer them out of hospital surviving because they cannot get immediate help.
At thedefibshop, we’re committed to creating heart safe environments, with car dealerships just one industry where automated external defibrillator (AED) accessibility makes a real impact on SCA survival rates.
SCAs can happen anytime, even when buying a car, which is why all car dealerships should install AEDs in the following locations, as explained in detail by our heart health experts.
In The Areas With Highest Risk
An AED should always be visible and, if possible, positioned in the area with the highest SCA risk. In a car dealership, this could be the forecourt where there is risk from moving vehicles.
Conduct your own risk assessment to find out the areas of highest risk, whether it is indeed the forecourt, or its the showroom, corridors, back-office spaces or anywhere else in the building(s).
Within Three Minutes of Everyone In The Dealership
This is straightforward if a dealership only covers a small area, with multiple AEDs suggested if the dealership covers a larger area — perhaps if there is a more expansive forecourt or parking lot.
A risk assessment will outline suitable locations to situate AEDs, whether that’s inside buildings around the dealership, or inside covered wall-mounts on lamp posts or pillars.
If there is a central location, that’s the ideal place for an AED to be located. Security desks or busy, constantly manned areas with a telephone are ideal, making a quick response possible.
For complete coverage, make sure each area of the dealership is within three minutes of an AED. If a certain area is further than three minutes away, perhaps from a central point, we advise investing in multiple AEDs.
Where The AED Is Visible (And Never Hidden Away)
An AED should never be hidden away in a back room and must be located so it is visible to everyone, while it must be at a comfortable height for easy removal and manoeuvring.
Each dealership employee should be aware of the location of all AEDs. But what if there isn’t a staff member around and somebody suffers an SCA and needs immediate help?
Take employees out of the equation, and think whether a customer could easily locate and access an AED in order to help another customer who has suffered a cardiac arrest.
For that reason, AED visibility is a must, so that everyone is protected should an SCA hit.
Read more: US Car Dealerships Leading The Way
Where They Can Be Inspected Regularly
Place AEDs somewhere where they won’t be missed by regular inspections because a missed inspection resulting in a faulty AED could be the difference between life and death.
Near A Telephone Or Somewhere With Strong Network Coverage
When a victim is receiving CPR and/or a shock administered from an AED, it’s important for the emergency services to be called, which is why strong network coverage or proximity to a landline telephone is essential.
Proximity to an internal company landline is also important incase the SCA happens elsewhere and employees need to telephone a colleague to quickly bring the AED.
Never In Areas That Are Locked
Due to accessibility reasons, areas that are securely locked after work hours, or only accessible by some staff members, are not ideal AED locations.
Employees Should Be Sufficiently Trained
Finally, it goes without saying that the installation of an AED should be accompanied by staff training to make sure some (or all, if possible) employees are both CPR and AED trained.
Car Dealerships Can Save Lives
Get in contact with us to find how AEDs can help save lives at your car dealership.