How to Hire a Professional Crime Scene Cleanup Service
What Is Crime Scene Cleanup?
Crime scene cleanup is a relatively new term that has started gaining acknowledgment more recently the world over. Before this service became more widespread, families were often left to clean up the mess left behind after the death of a loved one.
You are probably picturing a crime scene you have seen on a popular crime TV show. That may be the case in some instances, however the reality is usually not as violent.
Once the police and investigators are finished conducting their work and collecting evidence, and once the body has been removed from the scene, the family is left to deal with the mess. This is where crime scene cleanup services come into the picture.
What Is Involved in Crime Scene Cleanup?
In the 1990s, crime scene cleanup became a service offered to families grieving the loss of their loved one and needing assistance cleaning up the mess left behind. Since death can be messy regardless of whether it was the result of a violent crime, the service might be more accurately described as crime and trauma decontamination.
It entails the cleaning process that takes place following death as a result of suicide, homicide, and even accidental deaths and natural causes. This cleanup involves a specialized type of forensic cleaning that removes bodily fluids, blood and other materials that are deemed potentially infectious.
When Is Crime Scene Cleanup Necessary?
Cleaning up after a traumatic event involving death can be a horrible task whether you knew the victim or not and regardless of whether the death was the result of a violent crime. However, cleaning the scene properly does require very specialized knowledge and equipment.
You can’t simply throw a jug of bleach on the floor and call it a day. It is necessary to bring in a company to clean up a scene after a messy death has occurred. In most instances, a family will not move out of the house following the death, in which case they will need it cleaned and restored.
Any type of bodily fluid is deemed to be a bio-hazard and needs to be cleaned up correctly to ensure the scene is left in a clean state for the family to continue living in. This requires the services of a specialized team: a crime scene cleanup company.
Why Do You Need a Specialized Team?
Since blood and other bodily fluids can contain blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, MRSA and even clostridium difficile, it is highly important that these fluids are cleaned up and removed from the scene in the safest way possible.
Untrained individuals may not be able or know how to carry out this specialized cleaning process. A company that specializes in crime scene cleanup or trauma decontamination will also hold the legal permits to dispose of bio-hazard waste correctly and disinfect the space to ensure potential infections do not spread.
Hiring a Crime Scene Cleanup Company
Since cleaning up after death can be a very difficult task, companies offering this service will charge a pretty penny to restore the space, ensuring all bio-hazardous materials have been cleaned up correctly and removing any sign of the incident.
These companies also hold the relevant permits to legally perform this cleaning and deem the space safe to live in. Not to mention, it is emotionally easier for the family to hand over the cleaning process while they are still grieving the loss of their loved one.
The company's employees are trained not only in proper decontamination processes, but also in how to be respectful and compassionate toward the family and the situation. They provide a full-circle service — not just the chemicals and equipment to get the job done.
What to Expect from a Crime Scene Cleanup Company
You can expect the company to adhere to a set of safety protocols to ensure the safety of the crew as well as the family living in the space.
First, the crew should carry out an assessment to determine the extent of the work they need to carry out. They might mark out specific zones that will essentially prevent cross-contamination. Second, they should immediately remove any visible, dangerous bio-hazards such as bodily fluids, blood and compromised materials.
Next, they will prepare the area for disinfection by removing any carpets and furniture as well as cleaning up any other dirt and dust. This is followed by what is called a bio-wash: a 3-step process that cleans and disinfects the space. This is followed by deodorizing.
After performing the bio-wash at the scene, the company will then perform the same process along the pathway leading out of the home, to ensure no further contamination occurred during the cleanup process.
Lastly, all bio-hazard containers will be disposed of correctly and the company will disinfect their equipment. This usually takes place off-site.
Cleanup Services for Non-Crime Instances
These cleanup services are not only for crime scenes, but also for instances that did not involve a crime per se. These instances include household accidents that may have left large blood stains, suicides, accidental deaths and unattended deaths by natural causes.
Regardless of the cause of accident or death, each instance is treated with the utmost professionalism and care to ensure the space is left clean and free of any bio-hazards.
In many cases of death in the home or even at place of work, it is important for the space to be properly cleaned up following the incident to ensure it is clean and safe for those needing to return to the space.