LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Now that we’re spending most of our time at home, it’s time to look around and make sure your home is safe! That means actually taking care of all those projects you’ve been putting off.
Unsafe or unhealthy living conditions at home account for many of the leading causes of preventable deaths and disability. One local nonprofit wants to put you to work in the safest way possible.
"Our clients can’t go to an activity center or a community center. They can’t go to their neighbors house for a respite from unsafe living conditions. They are stuck at home. We are all stuck at home right now. So, it’s more important than ever to have a safe and healthy home to live in," said Bob Cleveland, executive director of Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada.
In honor of April being national rebuilding month, for 26 years the nonprofit Rebuilding Together has been enlisting volunteers to provide critical home repairs, modifications, and beautification to low-income seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities, for free.
"We try to keep them in their home and spend as little money as we can to do that," said Cleveland.
But this year, National Rebuilding Day was canceled because of COVID-19. Instead, Rebuilding Together has launched the Home Repair Challenge, encouraging everyone to do about 60 tasks around the house to eliminate any hazards.
"We are having to teach them how to do our job safely and we are still learning how to do our job in this environment safely," said Cleveland.
Using the hashtags #HomeRepairChallenge and #RebuildingAloneTogether, you're encouraged to take pictures of your work and post them on social media.
"If we have a regular person doing it, going up and changing the battery or putting a new filter in or caulking around the windows, it goes a long way toward showing how we can come together as a community and show each other how to live a safe and healthier life," said Cleveland.
It could be something as simple as changing your smoke detector batteries or your air filter.
"Right now, we are seeing, with COVID, that it affects people who have underlying conditions. Maybe the dust is affecting your asthma and maybe that makes you more susceptible. We really don’t know, so we just want to make everything as safe as possible," said Cleveland.
Or, it could be a slightly larger project like sealing up any leaks and cracks.
"Do you have air coming through your front door or if you can see light through it, bugs and rodents can come through as well. That’s not a safe environment to live in," said Cleveland.
But when it comes to really big projects, Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada says you should still leave that to the pros.
"We are not doing roofs, we’re not doing beautification or anything like that, but we are replacing air conditioners. We are replacing water heaters. If it’s truly life or death for the repair, we are going to go do it. We are going to safely go do it, but we’re going to go do it," said Cleveland.
If you want to participate in the Home Repair Challenge this year, here's a copy of the home safety checklist.
And if you think you qualify for a life-or-death repair, you can reach out to Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada here.