If you’re looking into crime scene clean-up in Topanga, California, it’s understandable if you’ve got a lot of questions. The last thing that anyone ever thinks about is crime scene cleanup. When a crime or traumatic incident happens where someone is hurt or killed, the emotional and mental toll can be overwhelming for survivors. You don’t even need to be personally connected to the victims. Just knowing that something traumatic happened at a site that you’re responsible for can be extremely overwhelming, and to have to deal with cleaning up that site can push the average person over the edge. 

It’s completely understandable. There are practical and emotional reasons that it makes sense to hire professional crime scene cleaners to clean a site where a crime has been committed.

Who is responsible for crime scene cleanup?

Many people are horrified to find out that they are responsible for crime scene cleanup. It’s a detail that’s not really addressed in fictional crime shows or true crime shows. Because of this, many people assume that when a crime is committed, local law enforcement, the coroner’s office, or even the crime scene technicians will clean up the site. Nothing could be further from the truth: crime scene clean-up is the responsibility of the people who own the site that the crime has taken place in.

When does crime scene cleaning begin?

When a crime or an accident takes place, investigators need to go in and do an investigation. They’ll need to collect evidence and take pictures of the space. Only when they complete their investigation can crime scene cleaning begin. Make sure to confirm with your law enforcement agency that the crime scene is truly and fully released. You don’t want to interfere with any ongoing investigations.

What is the most important aspect of crime scene cleanup?

Crime scenes are filled with biohazardous and infectious waste. This waste is extremely dangerous because it’s the type of waste that contains pathogens, the microorganisms that cause diseases in humans. They can be bloodborne pathogens that are transferred through the bloodstream, or they could be airborne pathogens that could be breathed in or transferred by skin. Either way, crime scenes are usually full of these types of microorganisms, and they need to be cleaned properly to help ensure that the spaces are safe to enter once cleaning has been completed.

The typical types of biohazardous waste that you find at crime scenes include blood, body tissue, bodily fluids, brain matter, and other types of biological waste. Crime scene cleaners go into the site, remove this waste safely and thoroughly, and disinfect the site with government-approved cleaners, solvents, disinfectants, and deodorizers. If these cleaners are not used, you run the risk of having pathogens spread throughout the site. Once that happens, anyone coming into the room would be susceptible to catching any number of diseases. The ultimate goal of crime scene cleanup is to bring a crime scene to hospital levels of sanitization.

If crime scenes are so dangerous, how do crime scene cleaners keep themselves safe?

Crime scene cleaners are experts when it comes to protecting themselves from dangerous waste. They wear head-to-toe coveralls that completely conceal every part of their body. They were goggles, respirators and face masks to ensure they don’t breathe in any dangerous pathogens. They wear special gloves that are puncture-proof so they don’t accidentally prick their skin, causing pathogen exposure. They were special shoes throughout the site that help protect them from chemical spills, blood, and other liquid substances. If they don’t wear those shoes, they wear special shoe covers. All of this equipment and more is specifically designed to help ensure that they are able to get to every single bit of infectious waste in the space without having it touch their bodies.

Does crime scene clean-up only happen at crime sites?

Crime scene cleanup can actually take place anywhere that there’s been an accident where someone has been hurt or killed. However, crime scene cleaning also takes place at places where biohazard cleanup is needed. 

One example of this is meth lab cleanup. Meth is an extremely dangerous drug, and inhaling even a little bit of it could cause serious respiratory issues and worse. Crime scene cleaning technicians are experienced in going into these sites and completely eliminating every trace of meth on every surface and in the air.

Crime scene cleanup also take place at suicide sites. Even though technically a crime was not committed, you’ll see the same type of biohazardous waste at these sites that you would see at a homicide scene. This is true whether it’s a violent suicide or a nonviolent one. Nonviolent suicides may not have a lot of body trauma, but you may see decomp, bodily fluids, and other matter that’s consistent with biohazardous waste. These sites need to be cleaned up just as carefully as sites where extreme trauma has taken place.

How do crime scene cleanup crews know that the site is clean?

Crime scene cleaners are not going to leave a crime site until it is absolutely clean. Knowing that a crime scene site is clean is not something that you can tell just by looking at it. A crime scene may look clean, but it may be still contaminated.

Crime scene cleaners use ATP tests that help determine how much cellular production is taking place on surfaces that have been sanitized. Pathogens will also show up during these tests if they still exist. We don’t leave a site or declare it sanitized until the ATP test registers zero activity. Once we get that zero, we’re confident that the site has reached hospital levels of sanitization.

Crime scene cleaning is rough. Give us a call if you’d like some help with your specific situation or if you just have questions. We’re here to help.