How to Check Your AED Is Good-To-Go

17 June 2021
AED TestTag insitu2

Making sure your AED is tested and ready to go

by Heart Saver NZ

We already think you're great because you have taken the best step ever by investing in an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). We're not exaggerating when we say this could be a life-saving decision. We truly hope you never have to use it.

An AED is a valuable piece of medical equipment. Like any piece of safety equipment, such as a fire extinguisher or smoke detector, an AED must be inspected regularly and maintained.

Here are some recommendations to ensure your AED is ready to go in the event of an emergency.

Even though AED's require very little maintenance, they are medical devices, and it's essential they're checked regularly.


Fortnightly Checks

The best way of ensuring your AED is good to go is to have a checklist to ensure a methodical inspection of your AED. We recommend the following fortnightly checks:

  • Do a good visual check. Does it have any damage? Any missing parts, cracks, chips out of the case or dents? If it has been dropped or signs are pointing to this being the case, it is important you get it checked by a professional company like Heart Saver.
  • Check the status indicator – it should have a "Ready" or "OK" status to indicate it is ready for use.
  • Download our handy checklist to use as part of your regular Health & Safety checks.
Inspection Record 2

Monthly Checks

  • Check the electrode pads – have they expired? Are any missing? Have they been opened? If this is the case, you'll need new ones, as their adhesiveness may be compromised. Please note: pads can only be used once – you will need replacements if you have used your set.
  • Check the battery – has it expired?
  • Check all other equipment such as the wax strip, the carry bag and the cabinet (if you have one) – is it all in working order? Does your cabinet open easily? Do the zips of the bag run smoothly?
  • Is your AED making any noises, such as a chirp? Does it have any weird lights flashing that you're not sure about? Don't ignore it – check your user manual to see what this means for your particular model.

To help keep track of your monthly checks, consider using an AED Test Tag which allows you to see at a glance when your AED was last checked.

“All AED devices should be annually checked to AS/NZ 3551:2012 performance and verification standards.”

- Australian/New Zealand Standards AS/NZ 3551:2012

Yearly Performance Testing


Ongoing maintenance of your AED is important. The scope of the self-test function of an AED varies widely between different makes and models.

For this reason, Heart Saver offers nationwide live shock testing, conducted on-site by our trained professionals using internationally recognised and industry-leading AED/Defibrillator Analysis equipment and testing procedures.

Our annual AED Health Check provides independent verification of the output of the AED, running through a range of physical, functional and electrical tests to confirm it is capable of performing safely. Contact us for more information.

"The responsible organisation needs to ensure that safety and performance of the medical equipment is maintained by an effective maintenance scheme with regular assessment, testing and maintenance in accordance with this standard."

- Australian/New Zealand Standards AS/NZ 3551:2012


How else can Heart Saver help?

We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable about all products and services on the market as well as being across the standards and best practice of companies both here and overseas. If you have any questions, please contact our team.

On average, pads should be replaced every two years and batteries every four years. This can vary by model so please check your user manual. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s replacement guidelines. To learn more about why AED pads expire, please see our blog post here.

We also offer a number of downloadable tools and resources for you and your team. Please see the Resources section of our website.

Need annual AED testing?

We offer an annual AED testing service, for a low cost. It's a great investment to keep your AED in working order.

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