AED Cabinet Installation Guide

AED cabinets play a vital role in safeguarding automated external defibrillators (AEDs), ensuring they are visible and readily accessible during critical moments. This comprehensive guide will provide step-by-step instructions to help you properly install an AED cabinet, follow the appropriate guidelines, and utilize all the features of the AED cabinet and alarm system.

Positioning Your AED Cabinet

Before you can choose a cabinet location, it’s essential that you understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines. The ADA Guidelines were established to ensure individuals with disabilities can access fire extinguishers, AED cabinets, and other safety devices.

Follow these guidelines when mounting an AED cabinet:

  • Objects, including AED cabinets, should not protrude more than 4 inches into walkways, corridors, passageways, or aisles if the bottom edge is between 27 and 80 inches above the finished floor.
  • For surface mount cabinets exceeding the 4-inch protrusion limit, the bottom edge should be mounted no higher than 27 inches above the floor.
  • An alternative solution is to use a recessed cabinet that does not extend beyond the 4-inch limit.

For handicapped accessibility: If a person in a wheelchair can only access the cabinet by facing it, the handle should be positioned no higher than 48 inches above the ground. If a person in a wheelchair can approach the cabinet from the side, the handle should be positioned no higher than 54 inches above the floor.

Assembly and Installation

Once you have the correct positioning of your AED cabinet, you can start the installation process. There are safety regulations to consider when installing your surface-mounted AED cabinet to help ensure you stay compliant. Follow the steps below to safely and effectively install your AED cabinet.

  1. Ensure the screws, bolts, and wall anchors used for installation do not penetrate electrical wires, pipes, or ductwork within the wall. Power or hand tools such as saws and drills can be damaging if not used cautiously.
  2. Locate metal or wood studs within the walls and mark their locations. 16” centers are the most common spacing.
    • For Drywall with wood studs: Align 2 vertical holds of cabinet with stud. Pre-drill holes and use wood screws to anchor the cabinet. 3/16” x 1 3/4” wood screws are recommended. Use drywall anchors and screws for the other 2 vertical holes.
    • For Drywall with metal studs: Securing metal studs is possible, but we recommend avoiding using metal studs and drywall anchors and screws for all 4 holes—pre-drill for anchors using 50lb metal drywall anchors with fins for easier installation.
    • For Concrete, Block, and Brick: Pre-drill and use concrete anchors (blue screws) for all 4 holes. Recommended 3/16″ x 1 3/4″ concrete anchors.

Alarm Features

Having reliable alarm features during an emergency can help the rescue process go more smoothly. When opening a cabinet that triggers an alarm, individuals and potential rescuers are alerted and can quickly locate the AED allowing immediate assistance to the victim in need. Not only do alarms help with response time, but they act as an additional layer of security for the device.

In busy environments where an AED might be located, such as schools, office buildings, or public spaces, unauthorized access to the AED could lead to misuse, tampering, or at worst, theft. With the alarm system in place, any unauthorized attempts to open the cabinet will alert security personnel and anyone surrounding the area.

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Benefits of the alarm feature include:

  • Powerful audible alarm: 80 decibel level ensures attention
  • Plunger style door switch: Designed for long life and durability
  • Low battery warning sign: Alarm “chirps” to warn battery needs replaced
  • Manual audible alarm on-off switch: Key that disables alarm
  • Easy access to battery compartment: One screw secures the cover

Cabinets with an alarm have an on-and-off switch. These switches come in a variety of formats, including a cabinet key switch, cabinet door switch, and manual audible alarm switch. Cabinets do not have locks, just latches for emergency access. Note: Moving your AED to a secure location is necessary if you need to prevent access to your AED for any reason. A pair of duplicate keys are provided with each new cabinet. Replacement keys are available for purchase.

Looking for an extra measure of alarm and AED system security? Strobe lighting can be ordered with the cabinet. Strobes are a great visual indicator, especially in loud environments such as arenas or stadiums.

What does an AED cabinet alarm sound like? Check out our video below to find out!


An AED cabinet stores a critical piece of life-saving equipment, making it essential to install and maintain the proper battery.

The alarm comes pre-attached to the inside wall of the cabinet. To access the battery compartment, simply remove the Philips head screw from the front of the unit and install the new 9-volt alkaline battery, which can function for up to two hours on a single battery.

Note: Only use a new, 9-volt alkaline battery.

When a unit’s battery level is almost fully drained, the alarm unit will make a “chirping” sound, which signifies it’s time to change it. If a unit has a strobe light and the battery is almost fully drained, the alarm may still sound, but the light will no longer flash. Adhering to proper battery installation and maintenance procedures can ensure that your life-saving equipment remains powerful and runs effectively.

Prioritizing proper positioning, assembly, alarm features, and battery maintenance can help ensure safe installation and effective maintenance of your AED. Visit AED cabinets or contact one of our representatives using our contact us form with any questions you may have about AED cabinets.

Note: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice or all-encompassing requirements for ADA guidelines. For the most up-to-date guidelines regarding hanging an AED cabinet for accessibility, contact AED Superstore or view the ADA’s website.

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