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Understanding IP Ratings and What They Mean for Your AED

You might hear the term "IP rating" when buying an electronic device that will be exposed outdoors, the EN 60529 standard is issued by CENELEC (European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization) which is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, based on the International standard IEC 60529.

Join us to discover what this rating means and why it is important.


An IP Rating: What Is Its Meaning?

The IP rating or Ingress Protection rating categorizes the degree of protection that an enclosure for electrical equipment provides. This grade is significant for equipment like AEDs that have to work consistently in a variety of settings. The IP rating system is defined by the international standard EN 60529 (British Standard BS EN 60529:1992).

What are the Different IP Ratings?

Dust ratings range from zero to six, with six labeled as the most resistant to dust. Water ratings range from zero to nine. For example, an IP65 rating tells you that your device is dustproof and protected against water jets. An IP68 rating means a device is both dustproof and can be submerged in shallow water, although the tolerated depth will depend on the specific product. Always check the product specifications on the brand’s website.

IPX Ratings

In certain cases, you might see an IP rating given as ‘IPX3’ or similar. Ratings that feature an ‘X’ somewhere in the code simply denote that a numerical rating has only been provided for one of the two main ingress types (solid or liquid), but not for the other.

Why AEDs Should Consider IP Ratings

AEDs are essential life-saving equipment, and their reliability may be the difference between life and death. They are frequently found in challenging environments where they may be exposed to dust, dirt, and humidity, like outdoor settings and industrial areas. An AED with a high IP rating guarantees proper operation even in difficult environments.


IP Ratings and FDA Approval

The FDA standards must be fulfilled by all AEDs before they can be used. An extra level of assurance about the device's durability and resistance to environmental factors is provided by the IP rating. Better protection is indicated by a greater IP rating, which guarantees that the AED will still work when it's most needed.

Understanding the Numbers

Here’s a quick guide to what the numbers in an IP rating represent:

  • First Digit (Solid Protection)

  • 0: No protection

  • 1-4: Protection against objects from >50mm to >1mm (e.g., hands, wires)

  • 5: Dust protected (some dust may enter but won’t harm the device)

  • 6: Dust-tight (no dust can enter)

  • Second Digit (Liquid Protection)

  • 0: No protection

  • 1-4: Protection from dripping water to splashing water

  • 5: Protection from water jets

  • 6: Protection from powerful water jets

  • 7: Protection from temporary immersion in water (up to 1 meter for 30 minutes)

  • 8: Protection from continuous immersion in water (beyond 1 meter)

The additional letter is used when the protection of people from contact with dangerous parts is greater than that of the entry of solid bodies expressed by the first characteristic digit.

  • A Protected against access with the back of the hand

  • B Protected against access with a finger

  • C Protected against access with a tool

  • D Protected against access with a wire SUPPLEMENTAL LETTER The supplementary letter is used to provide further particular information relating to the material.

  • H High voltage equipment

  • M Tested against harmful effects due to water ingress while the equipment is running

  • S Tested against harmful effects due to water ingress with equipment not running

  • V Suitable for use in specified atmospheric conditions


Examples of AEDs and Their IP Rating

Here are some examples of AEDs with their respective IP ratings, illustrating the range of protection available:

IP 6 6 CH

IP: Characteristic letters (Degree of Protection)

6: First characteristic digit (from 0 to 6 or letter x)

6: Second characteristic digit (from 0 to 9 or letter x)

C: Additional letter

H: additional letter

Generally, for products used outdoors, it is advisable to provide products with protection ranging from IP54 to IP67.


AEDs and Their IP Ratings

  • Philips HeartStart FRx:             IP55

  • Philips OnSite:  IP21

  • Avive AED:                                         IP54

  • Zoll AED Plus/AED 3:                      IP55

  • Defibtech Lifeline VIEW:                IP54 (100-Series) IP55 (2000-Series)

  • Cardiac Science Powerheart G5: IP55

  • Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2:     IP55

  • HeartSine Samaritan PAD 350P:   IP56  

Selecting the Appropriate AED

When selecting an AED, consider the environment in which it will be used. An AED with an IP67 rating, for example, is perfect for outdoor use because it certifies that it will keep working properly even in the presence of water and dust.


In Summary

Understanding your AED's IP rating helps you make an informed decision and ensures the device's durability in various environments. To make sure the AED you select satisfies the particular demands and challenges of its intended setting, always check the IP rating.

By knowing its IP certification, you can rest easy knowing that your AED is weatherproof and prepared to save lives whenever and wherever needed.

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