This article is about defibrillators in strata complexes.
Table of Contents:
- QUESTION: Does having a defibrillator on common property in a strata high-rise affect the building’s insurance?
- QUESTION: How do you keep track of your building’s assets like fire extinguishers and defibrillators? These items are expensive, but increasing their security may be easier than you think!
- QUESTION: We are keen to consider purchasing a defibrillator for our common property, but believe there is a high chance the defibrillator will be stolen. Should we be concerned about this?
- QUESTION: We would like to have a defibrillator in a common area in our strata building. What legal or other issues do we need to be aware of?
Question: Does having a defibrillator on common property in a strata high-rise affect the building’s insurance?
Answer: I am not across any specific insurance issues or impacts on insurance associated with AEDs.
I am not across any specific insurance issues or impacts on insurance associated with AEDs. AEDs are for preserving life. There may be issues that can arise for legal liabilities related to the use of AEDs, particularly in scenarios involving injury or, in the worst-case scenario, death. It’s important to remember that your current public liability insurance policy is designed to cover any legal claims of this nature.
This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Shandit Pty Ltd T/as Strata Insurance Solutions strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances. Shandit Pty Ltd T/As Strata Insurance Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 404246) of Insurance Advisenent Australia AFSL No 240549, ABN 15 003 886 687.
This post appears in Strata News #684.
Question: How do you keep track of your building’s assets like fire extinguishers and defibrillators? These items are expensive, but increasing their security may be easier than you think!
Answer: You can easily track your building’s assets.
Did you know you can easily track your building’s assets? Products can be installed on items without anyone really knowing a tracker is there.
You can use trackers on defibrillators, fire equipment, even access keys. We’ve dealt with a lot of buildings where fire extinguishers have been taken or used without authorisation. If a tradie accidentally takes the keys, you’ll know who has then and where they are.
These products are really handy. You can set trackers up to send an alert when an item is moved. You’ll know if the fire extinguisher is being moved for servicing at 2 pm by a technician or if someone is messing around with it at 2 am on a weekend.
There are also products that can detect when something is happening like a flood in a pump room. If the water gets to a certain level an alert is activated, he plumber can get automatically notified and they can tend to the matter very quickly.
This post appears in the September 2023 edition of The NSW Strata Magazine.
Question: We are keen to consider purchasing a defibrillator for our common property, but believe there is a high chance the defibrillator will be stolen. Should we be concerned about this?
Answer: It does occur, BUT very rarely.
It is always a consideration, and unfortunately, it does occur BUT very rarely. I have spoken with park rangers and lifesavers around Australia who have these devices installed in parks and unpatrolled beaches and less than 1% of these devices get tampered with. That is a pretty good rate considering these devices are left out in public, unsupervised.
These devices can be noted as a Strata asset with your insurer as well.
I personally look forward to these devices becoming as common as a fire extinguisher in our strata schemes.
This post appears in Strata News #535.
Question: We would like to have a defibrillator in a common area in our strata building. What legal or other issues do we need to be aware of?
Answer: There are very few concerns with having an AED installed on common property.
With over 30,000 sudden cardiac arrests each year, it is not a surprise that the question of installing these life saving devices has arrived at the Strata doorstep.
Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) are designed to deliver a shock to the heart to return it to a normal rhythm. A defibrillator does not restart a heart once it has completely stopped but rather detect and treat (with electric pulse) an irregular heart rhythm commonly associated with sudden cardiac arrest. With nearly 60 Australians dying each day from abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), the AED truly is a lifesaving device.
Outside of a hospital, survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest are 10%. The presence and correct use of an AED can increase a person’s chance of survival to 70%. A person has the best chance of survival if a defibrillation shock is delivered within 3-5 minutes of them collapsing. That is certainly not enough time for an ambulance to arrive, but plenty of time for you to run to common property and grab the AED.
These devices SAVE LIVES
As with anything new brought into the realm of community/strata living, we must always consider legal ramifications and practicality.
Thankfully, in terms of risk management, there are very few concerns with having an AED installed on common property. The (certified) devices are all designed to only provide an electric shock on a heart that is experiencing irregular rhythm. An AED will NOT deliver a shock to a healthy heart or to a completely flatlined heart. So, the risk of accidental electrocution is near non-existent. Manufacturers and installers of these devices record very few tampers or vandalism issues even with devices left out in national parks and beaches. Having these devices fitted inside an alarmed cabinet also deters any tamper from residents, visitors and particularly children.
There are currently no regulations that a committee must follow when installing one of these devices, simply a minor maintenance routine. We would strongly suggest that members of the committee (and any residents willing) complete a short training course on how to use an AED.
An AED is simply another piece of first aid equipment that most first aiders can utilise to save a life.
Maintenance requirements are very minimal, the device simply needs to be tested (turned on) at a minimum of 12 month intervals and a light is displayed throughout the year showing it is operational. The batteries vary in their life expectancy with most having a 3- 5 year lithium battery fitted.
Simply install the device in easy view of a path of travel (ideally the building entrance or pool area), advise all residents of its purpose and location and check it each year.
I think we will soon see the AED a common place item in our strata buildings with South Australia currently in the process of passing a bill that will see AEDs MANDATORY in all commercial schemes and in all residential schemes of 10+ lots. No doubt, the rest of Australia will follow suit in time. Thankfully, in most states, the installation of these devices could be funded through the Sinking Fund/Capital Works Fund meaning you likely won’t need to levy owners any additional monies to provide this life saving device.
Such a simple decision to install an AED on your common property WILL mean the difference between life and death when a resident or visitor suffers a sudden cardiac arrest.
It may be a mum that has tripped down the stairs and hit her head whilst taking the kids to school. It may be the tradesperson that falls off the ladder. It may be the lovely old dear who lives in unit 3. At some point, this device will save a life, it may even be yours!
This post appears in the November 2021 edition of The WA Strata Magazine.
Have a question about defibrillators in strata complexes or something to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
- NAT: Defibrillators on Common Property in Strata Buildings
- NSW: Opening Apartment Garage Door During Power Outage/Emergency
- NAT: Emergency Lighting: Is your building emergency ready?