AED Laws by State
Laws governing the use of AEDs vary by state with regards to training, registration, AED placement, and physician oversight requirements. All 50 states have laws protecting people who use AEDs in good faith.
Knowing Your State's Laws
We recommend everyone who has an AED in a public location be familiar with the legal requirements and their obligations according to their state. An AED is an amazing, life-saving tool that must be properly maintained so it can do its job if needed, and many states have legislation to help ensure owners follow through on their responsibility.
Good Samaritan Laws
Laws limiting civil liability for a well-intentioned but untrained user, commonly known as a Good Samaritan, are critically important in encouraging people to respond if an AED is present. Someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest is already technically dead. Every second that passes is critical, and waiting for EMS to arrive may mean death or brain damage for the victim. These laws range from limiting the liability of the user, to the user and the owner of the AED, or to other situations.
Locations Where AEDs Are Required
Some states mandate that AEDs be located in specific locations or public areas. The following examples illustrate how widely laws vary in terms of state requirements for types of facilities that must have an AED. A non-comprehensive list of states and required locations includes:
- Any facility with a capacity of over 300 people: Rhode Island
- Certain types of new construction, in accordance with SB 287: California
- Coal mine operators: Pennsylvania, West Virginia
- Dental offices, if anesthesia is administered: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Virginia, Washington
- Dialysis centers: Alabama, New Hampshire
- Golf courses: Connecticut
- Health clubs: California, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin
- Jails/lockup facilities: Virginia
- Ocean surf beaches: New York
- Optometrists, if anesthesia is administered: Tennessee
- Pools: Maryland
- Quarries: West Virginia
- Racing and gaming facilities: Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi
AED Legal Analysis
We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of our research regarding automated external defibrillator (AED) unit laws in each state across the country, however, with laws varying from state-to-state and even on a local basis, as you might imagine, staying abreast of constant changes is a very challenging process. As such, it's important to note that our findings should be used for informational purposes only and that any specific AED laws or AED requirements for your AED program should be developed between you and your legal counsel. If you have any suggestions, information, or tips on new or pending AED unit legislation that you feel might help improve our AED requirement pages, please contact us to let us know! By spreading knowledge about how to build and manage legally compliant AED programs, we hope to improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest.