Tesco is to introduce defibrillators in more than 900 of its biggest stores, in a move it claimed could save the lives of customers and staff.

The move came as statistics from the British Heart Foundation showed more than 30,000 people suffered a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the UK every year, but less than one in 10 survived.

“We are always looking for ways to help the communities we serve, and we know that having a defibrillator to hand can mean saving the life of someone suffering a cardiac arrest,” said Tesco UK chief operating officer Tony Hoggett.

“This initiative has the potential to make a real difference to customers and colleagues.”

BHF head of survival Sara Askew said: “If you have a cardiac arrest in the UK today you have just a one in 10 chance of survival. More people could be saved if more people had the skills to perform CPR and more defibrillators were available and accessible.”