Dealing with a property contaminated by meth is a truly challenging and dangerous task. Before the actual process of meth decontamination can commence, the location of the problem must be properly secured. There are a number of issues that come into play when it comes to understanding how to appropriately secure a meth contamination site.
Contact Law Enforcement
If you come upon what appears to be the location of what has been a meth lab or the site of methamphetamine manufacturing, you must immediately contact law enforcement. Indeed, this is the type of situation that warrants using 911.
There are a number of reasons why law enforcement must be contacted at once. First, the manufacturing of methamphetamine is a serious crime. An important objective is to bring this type of criminal activity to an end. The surest way of curtailing the illicit conduct of a meth manufacturer is to preserve evidence from a lab operation as soon as possible.
Second, law enforcement must be immediately contacted in order to ensure the safety of the community at large. The stark reality is that a meth lab, or the site of a former meth lab, can be extremely hazardous. The need very well may exist for the involvement of a HAZMAT team to deal with the highly dangerous elements associated with a meth lab.
There may be a situation in which you suspect that a property has been the location of a meth user. For example, you may be a landlord that has had a tenant move out of a unit. You may suspect that the tenant had been using meth on the premises. Specifically, you may suspect that a tenant had been smoking meth on the premises.
While the location can be contaminated and in need of remediation, when the situation doesn’t involve a meth lab operation, law enforcement likely doesn’t need to be involved in the situation at the outset. You certainly can make a police report about what you think may have occurred on the premises. However, the level of hazard associated with a meth lab or the site of a former meth lab is not present when a location had been used for smoking meth.
Stay Out of Premises
If you’ve come upon what you believe to be a meth contaminated location, you must stay out of the property. You can expose yourself to what can be a considerable health risk if you enter into the location of a meth lab or former meth lab or even into a space that had been used with regularity by a person or persons who smoked meth.
If you have spent any time in a property that turns out to have been contaminated with meth, you need to seek medical attention immediately. You cannot delay in seeking medical assistance following exposure to a meth contaminated site.
Secure Premises to Prevent Entry
In addition to keeping yourself out of potentially meth contaminated premises, you need to secure appropriately a space that you believe is contaminated by methamphetamine, including an area or building that you think was the site of a meth lab. The property needs to be secured to prevent anyone else from entering into the property without authorization.
Anyone who is authorized to enter into a meth contaminated property needs to don appropriate personal protective equipment or PPE. This needs to be PPE specifically designed for a situation involving meth cleanup. Examples of people who typically are authorized to enter into a meth contaminated building or space are law enforcement personnel, local or state health department personnel, a HAZMAT team, or a meth decontamination company.
Photograph or Video Meth Contamination Site
As part of securing a meth contamination site properly, photographs or a video should be made of the premises. Creating images of a meth contamination site serves a number of purposes. These include aiding in identifying particular locations in a property that may be most prone to actual meth contamination.
Taking photos or making a video also documents the state of the premises before meth decontamination commencers. For example, a HAZMAT team or meth decontamination company will want to pull together such evidence to make sure that there are no questions about the state of the premises before they commence their vital work.
Sampling and Testing for Meth Contamination Site
Once the premises have been secured, a qualified, reputable professional needs to be brought to the scene to undertake sampling and testing for the presence of meth. Undertaking sampling and testing for meth alerts to generally where the contamination can be found at a particular property.
Samples normally are collected by taking swabs at different locations in a property where meth contamination is believed to exist. The swabs are then sent to an approved laboratory for testing and analysis.
Engage a Meth Decontamination Company
When meth contamination is detected at a particular location, a professional meth decontamination company should be called in and retained. This type of professional has the experience, tools, resources, and equipment necessary to safely and completely eliminate meth contamination from a business, home, or other location.