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How Many AEDs Should You Have in a Building? Insights from Canadian Experts

How Many AEDs Should You Have in a Building? Insights from Canadian Experts

How Many AEDs Should You Have in a Building? Insights from Canadian Experts

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are crucial in saving lives during sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) incidents. In Canada, experts emphasize the importance of having an adequate number of AEDs in buildings to ensure timely intervention. But how many AEDs are necessary? Let's delve into the recommendations and insights from Canadian experts on this critical issue.

The Importance of AEDs

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in Canada, with an estimated 40,000 cases annually. Immediate defibrillation significantly increases the chances of survival, making the accessibility of AEDs vital. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, survival rates can increase up to 75% if defibrillation is administered within the first few minutes of an SCA.

Key Factors to Consider

Canadian experts highlight several factors that influence the number of AEDs needed in a building:

  1. Building Size and Layout: The size and complexity of the building play a crucial role. Larger buildings or those with multiple floors and complex layouts require more AEDs to ensure they are within reach during an emergency.

  2. Occupancy Levels: Buildings with high occupancy, such as schools, office complexes, and public facilities, need more AEDs to cover the higher potential number of incidents.

  3. Type of Facility: Facilities with higher risks, such as gyms, senior residences, and healthcare facilities, may require additional AEDs due to the increased likelihood of cardiac events.

Guidelines from Canadian Organizations

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends placing AEDs in high-traffic areas and locations where physical activity occurs. They emphasize that AEDs should be accessible within a 3-5 minute walk from any point in the building.

Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross advises conducting a thorough risk assessment to determine the appropriate number of AEDs. This assessment should consider the building's size, layout, and the specific needs of the occupants.

Practical Implementation Tips

  1. Conduct a Risk Assessment: Evaluate your building’s specific needs, considering its size, layout, and occupancy levels. This assessment will help determine the optimal number of AEDs required.

  2. Strategic Placement: Place AEDs in high-traffic areas, such as near entrances, elevators, and common areas. Ensure they are easily visible and accessible.

  3. Training and Maintenance: Train staff and occupants on how to use AEDs effectively. Regular maintenance and checks are essential to ensure the devices are functional when needed.

Case Study: Implementing AEDs in a Canadian Office Building

A Toronto-based corporate office provides an excellent example of best practices in AED implementation:

  • Risk Assessment: Conducted a thorough assessment, identifying high-traffic areas and potential risk zones.
  • Strategic Placement: Installed AEDs on each floor, near elevators, and in common areas.
  • Training: Trained all staff members in CPR and AED use, ensuring readiness in an emergency.
  • Maintenance: Established a regular maintenance schedule to ensure AEDs remain operational.


Determining the right number of AED machines in a building requires a tailored approach based on specific factors such as building size, layout, and occupancy levels. By following the guidelines and recommendations from Canadian experts and organizations, building managers can ensure they are well-prepared to respond to sudden cardiac arrest incidents, ultimately saving lives.

For further guidance, consult resources from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Taking proactive steps to install and maintain AEDs is a critical component of ensuring the safety and well-being of building occupants.

Feel free to share this blog post to raise awareness about the importance of AEDs in buildings across Canada. If you have any specific questions or need personalized advice please reach out to us at We are Canada's AED Company and are here to help.

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