When it comes to picturesque California towns, Ventura has everything a person needs to live the coastal life. From breathtaking seaside views to historical buildings such as the Mission San Buenaventura, this city holds many opportunities for residents and visitors to get outside and enjoy the year-round perfect weather. While it may seem as though nothing could ever go wrong as you watch the waves at Surfer’s Point, you should know that any city with over 100,000 residents and a constant stream of tourists is vulnerable to criminal activity and hazardous situations.
Catching a Killer in Ventura
For over a decade, the Golden State Killer terrorized the residents of California with multiple rapes, robberies, and murders. By the time that the criminal activity stopped, at least 13 murders, over 100 burglaries, and more than 50 rapes were believed to be attributed to the Golden State Killer. Sadly, one of the worst murders reported by the killer happened in Ventura, California. While the details of the event are shocking, it is reassuring to know that the meticulous evidence collection methods used by the Ventura police and detectives are what finally led to the Golden State Killer’s arrest.
In 1980, the bodies of Charlene and Lyman Smith were discovered by their son. The scene was particularly gruesome as the couple had been beaten to death with a fireplace log from their home. Both of them were bound, but Charlene had also been sexually assaulted, and her bindings were made from a drapery cord tied into an intricate knot. As with the other murders committed by the Golden State Killer, evidence was collected at the scene and investigators pored over every detail but to no avail.
It wouldn’t be until nearly 40 years later for the DNA evidence to finally point to Joseph James DeAngelo, a 73-year-old man, as the killer. With DeAngelo now behind bars awaiting trial, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that one of Ventura County’s most notorious criminals will be brought to justice. However, we must also remember that countless murders, suicides and other traumatizing scenarios play out every day in this gorgeous coastal city.
What Types of Situations Require Biohazard Cleanup?
While no one ever thinks about it, people such as the Smiths’ son are left to handle the aftermath of murders and suicides once the investigators leave. Yet, attempting to clean up blood and other bodily fluids is dangerous and emotionally devastating for anyone who has not been properly trained regarding how to handle such a situation.
Biohazard cleanups in Ventura often involve criminal activity such as a murder or assault where there is blood left behind in a home or vehicle. However, you should know that other situations also represent a threat to human health. For instance, homeless encampments tend to leave biohazards such as urine, feces, and sharps in the public areas that must be handled using the appropriate gear to prevent the spread of disease. Landlords also sometimes find that disgruntled tenants leave behind human waste after an eviction that requires special care to make the property habitable for future residents.
Can Diseases Be Spread by Old Human Feces and Rat Droppings?
Feces cleanup tends to hit even non-squeamish people hard. After all, humans have a natural aversion to fecal matter that is designed to protect them from coming in contact with dangerous pathogens. Mishandling human feces places you at risk for potential diseases such as the following:
Rat feces and other animal droppings are also dangerous to handle without the proper personal protection equipment tools. In fact, the fecal matter from animals such as rats tends to make a fine powder as it dries, which can become airborne. This is why you see biohazard clean up professionals wear respirators in addition to their suits.
What Is Involved With Proper Sharps Disposal?
Sharps are another hazard that is commonly encountered along the beaches and downtown areas of Ventura. Heroin use in the area still continues to remain high, which leads to dangerous situations where you may find used hypodermic needles in virtually any part of the city. Business owners of hotels, restaurants and other companies that specialize in hospitality often find dangerous sharps left behind by people who visit or camp out near the buildings.
Proper sharps disposal involves following specific protocols to minimize the risk of a person being stuck with a contaminated object. While even non-contaminated sharps should be disposed of in a hard-walled container, those that have come into contact with potentially hazardous bodily fluids must be handled with even greater care. Syringes and other sharp pieces of medical equipment must be placed into a special container that is clearly labeled so that everyone who sees it knows that it contains biohazard materials.
Sharps Drop off Locations in Ventura, California
What Is the Best Way to Handle a Suicide?
There is no easy way to handle suicide. As the first person on the scene, it is important to contact the Ventura emergency authorities immediately so that they can find out what happened. You also want to leave the area to avoid the emotional and physical trauma that can occur from witnessing another person’s death.
After a suicide, you may be tasked with the responsibility of cleaning up the aftermath in a building or vehicle. Never try to handle this alone. Whether a suicide occurred in a building or vehicle, professional care is required to make sure that all of the surfaces involved are cleaned, sanitized and decontaminated appropriately so that the property is restored to safe conditions.
When you experience one of your worst moments, remember that there are professionals who know how to help you deal with the aftermath in a way that preserves your safety. From biohazard in vehicle cleanups to the removal of rodent droppings, you have people to help you handle any situation appropriately.
Photo Courtesy of Tomás Del Coro.