AEDs are only as efficient as the batteries that power them. Just like any other piece of life-saving equipment, such as a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide monitor, it’s essential to make sure that your AED is always fully operational and ready for use, keeping it in good working order in case you need to use it to save someone’s life.
Why AED batteries are different
Our AED batteries aren’t rechargeable to ensure they are always ready to use – instead, they contain special long-life batteries that last for several years before they need to be replaced.
AED batteries generally last between four and seven years, depending on which you choose when purchasing your defibrillator. Therefore it’s essential, to know which battery is fitted in your AED and note when it might be expiring.
Checking and testing your AED battery is an easy way to make sure it’s working as it should and remains ready for use at all times. It’s best practice to test your AED battery at pretty regular intervals – once every 6-12 months is recommended to be on the safe side, although this isn’t mandatory.
How do I know when to check my AED battery?
Similarly to smoke alarms (when they begin to make a constant beeping noise the minute their battery starts to run low), AEDs have built-in protective technology to ensure that the battery never runs flat unexpectedly. Your AED will tell you when to change the battery – so you never need to worry about forgetting to check or test it. When the machine detects that the battery is running low, it will indicate ‘battery low’ or ‘replace battery now’, and the Active Status Indicator will flash red. When you receive this message, the battery should be replaced immediately.
Despite this, regular manual checks are always a good idea to ensure that the battery isn’t low or needs replacement when you come to use the defibrillator.
How to check your AED battery
There are several ways you can check your AED battery to make sure your defibrillator is rescuing ready.
1/ Check the expiration date on the battery:
AED batteries should be used before their expiration date. You can find this information on the printed label on the side of the battery pack.
2/ Run a quick status check:
This quick status check can be conducted while the unit is switched off and takes just a couple of minutes to complete. To do this, simply press the softkey button in the centre of the device to display the AED Status screen.
3/ Run a full battery status check:
If your AED has not been used or switched on for several years, it’s worth checking the battery using an effortless status check.
To manually check the battery, simply remove it from the defibrillator and wait for ten seconds. Then, reinsert the battery pack. The defibrillator will automatically turn on and run a battery insertion self-test, where it will report the status of the battery pack and shut down.
Clear and easy instructions guiding you through this process can be found in the paper manual that comes with your defibrillator. These can also be found in PDF format online with a quick Google search.
How often do AED batteries need to be replaced?
The frequency at which you replace your AED battery depends on several factors, including the type of battery you purchased with the AED initially and how much it has been used.
Lifeline AEDs come with three battery options: economy, standard, and High Capacity. The Economy provides the best value as it is the cheapest option and lasts for around three years with regular use. The Standard battery pack will last for about five years (or 125 shocks), and the High Capacity offers an extended lifespan of approximately seven years (equivalent to around 300 shocks).
As detailed above, the type of battery you choose and how long it will last also depends on the level of use the AED experiences during the battery’s lifetime. The number of shocks an AED administers will naturally deplete the battery during its lifetime.
For example, suppose your defibrillator has not been used at all for several years but is fitted with a High Capacity battery. In that case, you can expect the battery to remain fully functional for another couple of years. On the other hand, if a defibrillator has been used as demo equipment at a first aid centre, the batteries will need to be replaced more quickly.
How do I know which type of battery to buy for my AED?
AED batteries are specialised, which is a good thing – purchase the wrong one, and it won’t fit in your AED (this ensures that your battery won’t be dead or defective when you use your defibrillator). Lifeline AEDs have their compatible batteries, which are specifically designed for use in each Lifeline defibrillator. Each defibrillator model will have a different battery pack, so it’s not possible to make a mistake when changing the battery. If you’re unsure of which battery to choose when the time comes to order a replacement, simply contact us, and we’ll be happy to advise you.
AEDs don’t typically require maintenance or servicing – but we’re always on hand should you have any questions about keeping your AED in excellent working condition. Simply contact our friendly, experienced team today for tailored expert advice.