Signs for marking of defibrillators and first aid products are important in an emergency. Emergency exits should be marked with an escape sign.
The recommendation from the European Resuscitation Council is to clearly mark, with a sign using the symbol of defibrillators, the location where a defibrillator is going to be stored. The symbol contains a white heart with a flash in it as well as a white cross in the upper right corner.
A cardiac arrest is a stressful situation which is alleviated by preparation and practice. To mark where defibrillators are is simple but crucial. Keep in mind that defibrillators need to be accessible for as many as possible to bring the greatest benefit. A defibrillator locked in a storage room will probably save no lives. Therefore, remember to mark your defibrillator with signs and instructions. Inform anyone staying near the defibrillator where it is situated. Our experience is that informing staff where the defibrillator is can easily be forgotten after purchasing it. Also keep in mind to place it at a height which wheel chair users can reach. A sticker on a window or front door which shows that there is a defibrillator on the premises is recommended, together with arrows to show the way to the defibrillator. More countries have opened registers for defibrillators where you can register your defibrillator with an address and what days and times it is accessible. Then, this register is made available to the public and the healthcare system and they can thus quickly find the closest defibrillator. If you have a defibrillator in the car it can be useful to show, using a sticker, that there is a defibrillator in the car.
The very best is to place the defibrillator outdoors to increase access. There are specific outdoor cabinets with heating radiators that can withstand temperatures down to minus 45 Celsius. By placing the defibrillator in such a place, it is accessible all year, all day. These cabinets are equiped with decals showing there is a defibrillator inside the cabinet. Since most cardiac arrests (roughly 70%) occur inside the home more defibrillators should be placed close to homes and communities, preferably outdoors in an easily accessible outdoor cabinet. One aspect that should be taken into account is the risk of theft. Unfortunately, the risk of having a defibrillator stolen increases with outdoor placements. All defibrillators have a unique serial number and can therefore be identified if anyone tries to sell after stealing it, which can reduce the risk of theft. Some insurance companies can insure your equipment even if it is placed outdoors in an unlocked cabinet.