Crime scene clean-up can be an emotionally-charged situation for non-professionals. The very term implies that crime scene clean-up only refers to cleaning up spaces where crimes have occurred, its reach is much broader than that.
Crime scene clean-up covers spaces where deaths have occurred, including violent deaths, homicides, suicides, industrial or work accidents, and natural deaths. The first responders go in to attend to the victims and the immediate aftermath of a crime or death. Crime scene clean-up specialists are sometimes referred to as the second responders. They go in, clean and sanitize the space, and try to restore as much normalcy as possible. By erasing signs of physical trauma, crime scene clean-up teams may actually help people who have to live or work in the space start on the road to emotional healing from the incident.
What Types of Incidents Fall Under the Purview of Crime Scene Cleanup?
There are several different types of incidents that would necessitate the need for crime scene clean-up.
Sometimes people die alone at home. If they were not in contact with loved ones or friends, or if they didn’t have anyone that they were close to at all, their bodies may not be discovered for quite some time. By the time they are discovered, their bodies may have decomposed to the point where specialized clean-up is necessary. Our teams are able to go in and clean the space with razor-sharp precision and while exercising compassion.
When someone commits suicide, the aftermath can be difficult to clean up. Depending on the method of suicide, cleanup teams could be dealing with a decomposing body or a body that has experienced extensive and intense physical trauma. Removal of blood, body waste, and odor is paramount in order to restore the space to habitability. Because suicides often take place in a home, our teams make sure that we employ high levels of compassion for surviving family members and occupants.
Homicides can be very violent, leaving behind lots of blood and human waste. This can make it psychologically and mentally challenging for family members to handle cleanup themselves. Our teams are trained to go in and handle everything so that not only is every bit of blood, human waste, and tissue cleaned away, but the space is also restored to a sanitized version of what it looked like before the Incident. We have the tools and knowledge to clean and restore floors and walls to their original condition if possible. We will make it clear when certain elements of the space are unsalvageable.
Tear gas is an extremely difficult substance to get rid of. The effects of the tear gas can last long after it’s been dispensed. Our teams know exactly how to go in and remove every trace of tear gas so that the space is once again safe for human occupancy. Until a space has been professionally cleaned of all traces of tear gas, the space should not be lived in or entered. The remnants of the tear gas could leave serious long lasting effects on a person’s health.
How Does Crime Scene Cleanup Differ From Other Types of Cleanup?
Crime scene clean-up is very different from other types of cleanup. It has to follow certain mandated rules and protocols to ensure that the cleanup is handled properly. Federal and government agencies like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have set up regulations and guidelines that crime scene specialists must follow to help ensure proper clean up of crime scene sites. They have rules for cleaning targeting the cleanup of elements like bloodborne pathogens that can be transferred via virus or bacteria into the human body. Following these regulations will help ensure that the public will remain safe once the space is inhabited again.
Why Is It Important to Have Crime Scenes in Private Homes Professionally Cleaned?
Many crime scenes take place in the home. Survivors often have to live in the home after the crime has taken place. Having a professional cleanup team come in and sterilize, clean, and sanitize the space will help bring things back to normal sooner rather than later.
Blood, human waste, and body tissue is considered biohazardous waste, so the team will also follow all of the rules and regulations regarding disposal. This is psychologically important for the people who have to remain in the home once the cleanup is done. Blood or human waste that has gotten into materials like rugs or curtains will be removed with the owners’ consent if they can’t be replaced. We work with the families and survivors to make sure that they are involved as much as they need to every step of the way.
What Types of Materials and Equipment Do Crime Scene Specialists Use?
Crime scene cleanup specialists use specific equipment, chemicals, and gear to securely, professionally, and thoroughly sanitize the scene. A small portion of that equipment includes the following:
- An ozone machine that’s used to get rid of odors
- Biohazardous waste containers that consists of sealed plastic containers or a 55 gallon heavy duty waste bags
- PPE gear, including gloves, disposable suits, respirators, and boots that repel chemical spills
- Industrial strength, hospital grade disinfectants and deodorizers
- Items like sprayers, scrubbing brushes, and wet vacuum that allow the cleaners to perform a no-touch cleaning system.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help with crime scene cleaning. We are sensitive to your needs, work to help you restore some normalcy to your life.