An AED cabinet is extremely important for the storage of public-access defibrillators. If someone suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, prompt action by anyone nearby offers probably their only chance of survival. An immediate 999 call for an ambulance, followed by the commencement of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, is essential.

Most people who survive will have needed a shock from a defibrillator to correct a chaotic heart rhythm. The earlier the shock is given, the better the chance of survival. Studies have shown that a shock given within three minutes of a cardiac arrest provides the best chances of survival and that even one-minute further delay reduces this chance substantially. In most situations, ambulance services will be unable to reach the scene and deliver a shock within three minutes. Further studies have shown that immediate delivery of CPR combined with the early use of an automatic external defibrillator by members of the public gives a person in cardiac arrest the best chance of surviving.

An increasing demand for defibrillators for use by members of the public is now being seen. They are referred to as "public-access defibrillators." Defibrillators are simple to use and could be used effectively and safely by people who have had no prior training.

House a good defibrillator in an external cabinet. Ensure the unit is always accessible to the community. The AED cabinet provides a safe and secure storage area for the defibrillator and protects it against all weather conditions. A good external cabinet will have high ingress protection or IP rating, meaning that it is both water- and dust-tight. These cabinets are IP66, which is the highest on the market.

Cabinets can be manufactured from mild steel, stainless steel or plastic. When inserting a cabinet within 5 miles of the coast, a stainless steel cabinet should be installed due to the anti-corrosive properties in the material. Plastic cabinets should be manufactured from materials which meet the minimum standard of UL94 V-0 flame-retardancy rating and also be low-smoke halogen-free.

The AED cabinet is usually easy to identify as it is bright yellow in colour. Usually, it will have the sign above or close to it saying "Defibrillator." These cabinets have a green defibrillator heart restarter sign on them recommended by the UK Resuscitation Council. You can also find the chain of survival on the cabinet which explains in four simple steps how to proceed an emergency. Call the emergency services on 999 or 112, perform CPR, use an AED, and finally, seek advanced medical assistance from the EMS.

Cabinets can be unlocked or locked. The lock on a locked cabinet is one of the most important components. A mechanical lock ensures the cabinet does not rely on electricity to function. This cabinet uses a marine-grade stainless steel keypad which has been tested with salt spray for 10,000 hours. The access code for the lock is registered with the ambulance service. Upon contacting emergency services, the caller will be notified of the nearest defibrillator and given the access code to it.

A viewing window on the cabinet ensures the AED is clearly visible without opening it and it also enables passers-by to easily check the status of the AED indicator and ensure it is ready for use. Cabinets should be vandal- and theft-proof. It should not be possible to remove any of the hinges from the outside as this may result in the defibrillator being stolen. The door-lock strike mechanism should be protected from external tampering to prevent theft. Cabinets should also be impact-resistant to prevent vandalism or theft of the defibrillator, and they should meet minimum impact resistance of 7 newton-meters and still stay locked with the IP rating intact.