Choosing the right defibrillator cabinet

Posted on 8 June 2020

Firstly – great news that you have chosen to have a life saving defib and cabinet in your community.   You won’t regret this!


You need to decide where you want to position the cabinet. This should be located in a high traffic area; in an emergency the time taken to fetch the defibrillator is essential.  It may be that you need 2 or 3 sites to cover a village. The site should be in a high traffic, well known area – for example on the outside of a club house, a community centre, a shop or store in the centre of the village or attached to a Church.  Remember, some places might need planning permission – particularly listed buildings such as Churches. It is a great idea to canvas opinion on where to put it.

We do recommend if it is for the community, that it should be outside, so it can be accessed 24/7.


Cabinet specs for you to choose from

Locked or unlocked?

This may be pre-determined on where the money for the defib and cabinet came from.  BHF only provide grants for unlocked cabinets, but other communities may want it locked, to prevent it from vandalism or the defib from being stolen.  When you receive your cabinet and defibrillator, you should register it, which means the local emergency services know where it is. They will need the keycode to unlock the cabinet – so if someone rings, they are able to dispatch a paramedic and provide the bystander with the code – and even where the defib is if the person helping doesn’t know.

Heated or unheated

We would strongly recommend a heated cabinet if the cabinet is positioned outside.  This allows the cabinet to ensure the ambient temperature inside the cabinet never comes close to freezing, which protects the defibrillator inside and preserves the battery. These cabinets contain an internal automatic LED strip light which is activated when the door opens as well as a 150W fan assisted, thermostatically (temperature) and hydrostatically (moisture) controlled heating element.  Please note with a heated cabinet, there will need to be an electrical supply nearby to power it.  The average cost to heat a cabinet is roughly £1-£2 a month.


Our cabinets are strong, robust and come in a range of eye catching colours – and this is really key.  You want something people will see, rather than a cabinet that blends in with its surroundings.  We also do signs which can be positioned high above the cabinet, meaning they can be seen from further away.


Some of our customers like a window, so it can be easily checked periodically, but you can also check that the cabinet has the defibrillator inside it.

Customised print on the cabinet

You might decide that the cabinet needs some instructions on for a bystander or first responder in the event of a cardiac arrest, or it may be bought with a grant or be fund raised by a charity, or even in memory of someone.  We can print on the cabinet and have lots of examples of what other communities have put on there – just ask us here!

Rain canopy and/or alarm

These are two other features we can offer to customise your cabinet.  An alarm will go off if the cabinet door is opened and the rain canopy protects the cabinet from excessive weather.

Freestanding or attached to wall?

This will depend on where your cabinet is going, but we offer plinths, wall mounts, pole mounts and other accessories to make this as easy as possible for you to get your defib and cabinet up and running.