Water and Dust Protection for AEDs Explained (IP Ratings)

What is an IP rating?

Every AED has a water and dust ingress rating which classifies the level of protection that electrical appliances (like AEDs) provide against the intrusion of solid objects or dust, accidental contact, and water. The rating has NOTHING to do with how well a particular device can withstand a drop or shock. It is expressed as an “IP Code” which you’ll usually see in an AED’s sales brochure. The code is expressed as IPXX with “X” being the rating numbers.

The IP Code stands for “International Protection Rating” or “Ingress Protection Rating.

The first numerical digit indicates the level of protection against solid particles such as dust or other matter.

Number          Effective Against

0                     No protection against contact and ingress of objects

1                    Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against   deliberate contact with a body part

2                    Fingers or similar objects

3                    Tools, thick wires, etc.

4                    Most wires, screws, etc.

5                    Dust protected–Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact

6                   Dust tight–No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact

The second numerical digit indicates the level of protection from harmful ingress of water.

Number       Effective Against

0                  Not protected

1                  Dripping water

2                  Dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees

3                  Spraying water

4                  Splashing water

5                  Water jets

6                  Powerful water jets

7                  Immersion up to 1 meter

8                  Immersion beyond 1 meter

The higher each of the numbers in an AED’s IP rating, the more protected it is.

Use this scale as a tool as you shop for AEDs. You won’t need to buy an AED with a high rating if it’s going to be deployed in an office or school setting. Buy an AED with a higher IP rating if it’s to be deployed in a harsh environment with dust and moisture present.

S. Joanne Dames - MD, MPH

Updated: 2/21/2019

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