When home and business owners are left to cope with a crime scene, they often fail to recognize the hazards in front of them. Crime scenes are unsafe environments, as many contain a wide range of hazardous residues and materials. If you’re stuck with the responsibility of cleaning up a crime scene, you must hire professionals that are skilled in crime scene cleanup.
Crime scene cleaners are trained to access damages and identify potential hazards. They use universal precautions to protect themselves while remediating your property and making it safe for occupancy again.
Let’s discuss potential crime scene residues and why they are reason enough that no layperson should ever attempt to clean a crime scene.
Byproducts of Investigations
While we often think of the obvious crime scene contaminants as blood and bodily tissue, harmful man-made materials are also introduced during police intervention and subsequent investigations. This include but are not limited to:
When the police attempt to identify the people present a the crime scene, they dust nearly every surface with fingerprint powder. This seemingly harmless substance can generate an overwhelming mess. Some fingerprint powders even contain carbon black, a known carcinogenic. While many fingerprint powders are black or white, some are brightened with fluorescent dyes.
Tear gas is an all too common side product of heated police interactions. The crystalline residue causes major destruction. Momentary interactions with the substance can cause severe health side effects.
The cleaning process is highly involved and includes the cleaning off all exposed surfaces and HVAC systems. The side effects of tear gas range from coughing to sudden death. There’s no reason to take this potential life-threatening hazard lightly.
Areas that have been exposed to tear gas are not safe for habitation. You must hire a professional cleaner to remove all traces of this substance.
Pepper spray is a common component of police intervention. It often lingers long after crime scenes have been processed. There are different types of pepper sprays in use, some of which are made from synthetics and others that are made from actual pepper.
When someone is harmed or killed at a crime scene, there is always the potential that bloodborne pathogens are left behind. When the victims’ medical history is unknown, the potential for the spread of infectious diseases is even higher.
Naturally, certain circumstances, such as murder and suicide, result in the broader spread of potentially infectious materials. Professional cleaners come equipped with biohazard suits, protective face masks, and gloves that prevent these substances from coming in contact with their body.
Common bloodborne pathogens include:
- Hepatitis B & A
Professional crime scene cleaners use carefully selected OSHA-approved chemicals to disinfect surfaces that have been exposed to bodily fluids. These professionals are trained to restore or eliminate infected materials. They also disinfect all surfaces to ensure that occupants are safe.
Blood is a messy substance. Its presence can be unsettling, especially after traumatic episodes. Family members should not have to live with blood splatter on their home or property.
Urine, feces, semen, and other potentially infectious bodily fluids are also commonly found at crime scenes. Not only do these residues contain potentially harmful diseases, but they are also unsanitary. Professional cleaners eliminate clean and disinfect all areas to eliminate the potential for the spread of diseases.
Trauma scenes also result in the spread of biological materials, such as skin and hair. Biological materials run the risk of being contaminated.
Sometimes crime scenes involve chemical-laden drug labs.
These environments require careful remediation. Professional cleaners test areas for meth lab residue, which is often a cocktail of toxic chemicals used during drug production. These chemicals may be in storage or various stages of production. With so may reactive chemicals present, it is essential for someone with a chemistry background to go over them to identify potential hazards.
Oftentimes, these chemicals leech into nearby surfaces. In many cases, furniture and materials are not salvageable. In most areas, property owners must disclose meth lab activity before real estate transactions. For this reason and many more, it is important that property owners higher certified cleaners to remediate such a crime scene.
Remediation involves the mass removal of chemical products and the cleaning of all interior structures. Under the US Code of Federal Regulations, meth labs are considered hazardous waste sites.
The EPA has set up Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup. In many states, including California, property owners must hire a contractor to access and remediate a meth lab.
Arson and drug production crime scenes may boast severe fire or smoke damage.
Smoke is incredibly damaging. It can seep into furniture, walls, and flooring, leaving behind an unbearable stench and potential health hazards. Professional crime scene cleaners use industrial-grade chemicals to deodorize smokey crime scenes.
It is common for people to attempt to disguise or cover smoke. However, these odors tend to be persistent and difficult to mask. Professionals will attack the stench from all angles, making sure to eliminate smells from the carpets, air ducts, and every area in between.
Cleaners Protect Themselves Against Potential Hazards
Crime scene cleaners prepare themselves with protective clothing and industrial-grade cleaning solutions. They also work to identify biohazards before remediating a crime scene.
Eco Bear offers comprehensive crime scene remediation services at affordable rates. They use OSHA-approved methods to remove contaminants and disinfect properties, leaving inhabitants with a clean slate. When you are coping with the challenging and potentially hazardous circumstances, it’s essential to work with hire professionals that are trained and experienced in the handling of all sorts of crime scene residues.