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Minimising The Risk of AED Theft

In February 2015, it was announced that Manchester city officials were looking to ensure that the public are never more than 4 minutes away from a Defibrillator within the city centre. It was reported in the Manchester Evening News that this is a joint initiative between the City centre officials and the Ambulance service, with the aim of making Manchester the safest city for people that suffer sudden heart failure.

Coincidently in the same month it was reported how on the outskirts of Manchester, lives had been put at risk after a vital piece of heart starting equipment was stolen from Stockport railway station. It was reported that a 15 year old took the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) from just outside the ticket office. Having read subsequent articles on this incident it is unclear whether the youth was looking to fool around with the device or attempt to sell it onwards. Either way, he was thankfully arrested and the equipment later recovered.

To those people that work in this environment, it will perhaps surprise only a few that this sort of crime is starting to occur. After all, AEDs retail for around £1,000 each. With more and more councils looking to make them more readily available, it seems obvious that greater theft and misuse is staring to occur – not just in Manchester but across the length and breadth of the UK.

A key element of making AEDs available is that they can be used without any significant delay. With this in mind, the AED cabinets in public places are rarely under lock and key.

In an effort to work in harmony with the above principle of making AEDs easy for authorised, legitimate people to use whilst deterring misuse or theft, SSP have introduced a range of alarmed AED Cabinets. Branded the “Defibrillator Defender”, these cabinets have both a flash strobe light and a 100 decibel alarm. The cabinet’s visual and audio warning device acts as a compelling deterrent to those considering misusing or stealing AEDs in their local area. For more information on these products, please see the links below.

The facts contained in this article are derived from the following news articles published by Manchester Evening News in February 2015;

Our sincere thanks goes to them for highlighting these issues.