Make your organization Heart Safe

Every day, about 30 people in Belgium suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital. Only 5 to 10% survive. By starting CPR within 3 to 5 minutes and using an automatic external defibrillator (AED), you increase the victim's chance of survival to 70%.

Belgian Red Cross-Flanders with the Hartveilig project aims to increase, on the one hand, the survival rate of victims in the event of cardiac arrest and, on the other, to increase the first-aid capabilities of the population.

Thanks to the quick intervention of the Red Cross volunteers, their CPR knowledge and the presence of the AED device, I was given a second chance. I owe it to them to take good care of my body now.

Luk Van Biesbrouck

Cardiac arrest victim

How do you become Heart Safe?

Step 1. Place an AED

As a city, town or business, make available at least one highly visible and publicly accessible AED. Are you a school, sports club or other organization? Then you only need to place an AED if no other device is available within a maximum of 3 minutes single walking distance.

Learn more about an AED

Step 2. Organize training in CPR and defibrillation.

Organiseer een opleiding reanimeren en defibrilleren bij Rode Kruis-Vlaanderen voor minstens 10% van jouw (vrijwillige) medewerkers.

My organization is a city, municipality or company and I am applying for training

My organization is a school, sports club or other organization and I am applying for training

Step 3. Apply online for your Heart Safe label

Upon completion of the course(s), complete the online application form and show your two-year commitment. 

Fill in the form

Congratulations, you receive the Heart Safe label! Hang it in a visible place.

Want to become Heart Safe, but still have some questions?
Contact hartveilig@rodekruis.be and we'll answer your questions quickly!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the legal recommendations when installing an AED?

Belgium and Europe have recommendations on the placement of public AED devices.

The Belgian Cardiology League recommends the placement of AEDs in public places, and the Belgian government recognizes their usefulness. Thanks to a Royal Decree, anyone may use an AED during CPR.

Consult all legal texts here 

 

Which AED device do I best place?

Belgian Red Cross-Flanders as a neutral organization, cannot formulate commercial suggestions. We are, however, happy to give you following advice when acquiring an AED device.

Place a category 1 AED device

Every AED device in Belgium conforms to European directives. Only category 1 AED devices may be placed in public and used by anyone. These do not contain a screen to follow the heart rhythm and you cannot switch to manual mode to deliver a shock yourself.

Choose between semiautomatic and fully automatic AEDs

The legislature does not comment on whether or not to place a semi- or fully automatic AED.

  • Semiautomatic: after analysis and necessary instructions, you must press a button yourself to deliver a shock. This can be a psychological barrier for persons who have not received first aid training.
  • Fully automatic: the device responds fully automatically. No need to press a button to deliver a shock.

What aspects do I still take into account?

  • Language: this depends on the organizational context. In (work) environments where languages other than Dutch are also spoken, a multilingual device can be useful.
  • Dust and water resistance: for environments such as a swimming pool or production hall, this is important.
  • Indoor versus Outdoor Cabinet: If an AED is hanging outside, then an outdoor cabinet is required to protect the device from weather conditions. If the device hangs in an entrance hall or other easily accessible space, then an indoor cabinet is sufficient.
  • Pediatrische elektroden (kinderelektroden): gaat het om een school? Krijgt een organisatie, sportclub of gemeente vaak kinderen over de vloer? Dan kunnen pediatrische elektroden interessant zijn. Standaard AED’s zijn namelijk geschikt voor gebruik bij kinderen ouder dan 8 jaar. Voor baby’s en kinderen tot 8 jaar gebruik je bij voorkeur dus aangepaste elektroden (pediatrische pads) en een AED in pediatrische modus (met een dosisverzwakker die de hoeveelheid geleverde energie verlaagt). Gebruik een standaard AED voor volwassenen als er geen aangepaste AED beschikbaar is.
  • Service and maintenance: this aspect depends on firm to firm. Ask what are the terms and specifications of the maintenance contract.

Where is it best to place an AED?

By starting CPR within 3 to 5 minutes and using an AED, you increase the victim's chance of survival by up to 70%. Ideally, an AED is available less than 3 minutes single walk away.

Get expert advice on how many AEDs your organization needs and where best to place them. Prefer places with many passersby that are also easily accessible e.g. a train station, shopping center, library, town hall, sports center, school ... 

Be sure to provide signage to the AED as well.

Is it best to buy or rent an AED?

Buy or rent?

You can either rent or buy an AED. Companies or suppliers of AED devices that offer rental options often automatically provide maintenance and replacement of the battery and electrodes. With companies or suppliers that sell the AED devices, it is best to ask what after-sales service they provide and how the maintenance and replacement of batteries and electrodes is done.

Are premiums provided for the placement of an AED?

Grants may be awarded at the municipal or regional level. Contact these agencies if necessary.

How do I register and maintain my AED?

  • Each public AED is required by law to be registered with the Federal Public Health Service through this online application form. Once processed, you will receive a registration number for that device.
  • Wijzigingen geef je binnen de maand per mail door op aed-dea@health.fgov.be. Let wel: bij een nieuw AED-toestel hoort een nieuwe registratie.
  • Then, as an owner, you are required by law to check the condition of your AED monthly and after each use. Pay special attention to the batteries and electrodes. We recommend that you carefully document everything in a register.
  • Finally, provide an annual report of all data recorded by the AED during the past year to the Federal Public Health Service.

Where can I find a map of AED devices in my area?

There are apps that map AED locations. Also be sure to check out your own area so you know where to find an AED device in case of an emergency.

Depending on the language, the abbreviation AED is also sometimes written as DEA (Wallonia), DAE (France) or other letter combinations.