SECURITY is to be tightened at two tower blocks hit by safety fears in a bid to reassure residents.
Portsmouth City Council has revealed it will be posting 24-hour security guards at the entrances of both Horatia House and Leamington House, in Somers Town.
It comes after the authority told residents living in the high-rises they will need to leave their homes by 2019 to allow vital improvement to be carried out on the buildings’ weak concrete.
A study has revealed the concrete would be unable to absorb a gas explosion in a flat, putting residents’ at risk.
James Hill, director of housing, neighbourhood and building services, said although there was no immediate danger to tenants, the new measure had to be put into place to prevent any future catastrophe.
It will see security guards on site to stopping people from bringing in any prohibited items that could explode, like gas canisters or gas heaters.
He said: ‘We will create a security concierge at the entrance to both blocks. They will be there 24 hours a day. That moves from a fire warden type situation that we had from last year to an actual security concierge.
‘We think we can manage that risk with our tenants’ co-operation while we take a measured approach to their rehousing.
‘This isn’t about causing panic, this is about us saying the residents’ safety is our top priority.’
Previously, the buildings had been monitored by a fire warden.
The latest move has been backed by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, which has been working with the council on the plans.
Stew Adamson, the fire service’s director of operations, said: ‘We have been supporting Portsmouth City Council in relation to fire safety in Horatia and Leamington House.
‘Our priority is always the safety and well-being of all residents in Hampshire.
‘It is vital residents follow fire safety precautions in their home and the specific advice given to them by their landlords.
‘Residents in blocks of flats should also be mindful of the impact their actions could have on fellow residents.’
For personalised safety advice, see hantsfire.gov.uk/safeandsound and complete an online home fire safety checker form.