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Who Cleans Up A Crime Scene?

Updated: May 29

Who Cleans Up A Crime Scene Graphic

Crime scene cleaning is a vital job that comes with a great emotional burden on all involved. This is why it's handled by specialized crime scene cleanup companies and not law enforcement officials, contrary to popular belief.

These professionals know exactly how to deal with the aftermath of traumatic incidents, where biohazards and the emotional weight of the circumstances pose unique challenges. Beyond the physical cleanup, these experts must also consider legal and ethical standards and work closely with law enforcement to ensure best practices are followed.

Understanding Crime Scene Cleanup

Crime scene cleaning is a lot more complex than many think. It involves the meticulous and sensitive work of crime scene cleaners. They're tasked with biohazard decontamination, including the removal of human blood and other bodily fluids from the scene of a crime, as these could cause potentially life-threatening infections.

Their job involves cleaning, disinfecting, and restoring the area to a safe state. This requires extensive training in handling hazardous materials, knowledge of federal and state regulations, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The risks associated with crime scene cleanup show just how important it is for this task to be put in the hands of trained professionals. Doing this spares family members and other affected parties from the traumatic experience of cleaning up after a violent crime or accident.

The Process of Crime Scene Cleanup

Biohazard cleaning involves several meticulous steps to ensure an area is thoroughly decontaminated and restored:

  1. Initial assessment: Crime scene cleaners assess the scene thoroughly. This helps them determine the extent of cleanup required and formulate a strategic approach.

  2. Safety protocols: Before cleaning starts, professionals put on PPE to safeguard against exposure to hazardous materials. This includes gloves, masks, and protective suits.

  3. Biohazard removal: All biohazardous materials are removed carefully.

  4. Deep cleaning: After all biohazards have been removed, the area undergoes deep cleaning, which eliminates all traces of biological matter.

  5. Decontamination: Hospital-grade disinfectants are used to ensure the area is free from dangerous pathogens and safe for occupancy.

  6. Odor removal: Specialized techniques and equipment are used to remove lingering smells resulting from the incident.

  7. Restoration: The last step entails restoring the scene as closely to its original condition as possible.

Professional Crime Scene Cleaner Services

Hiring professional crime scene cleaning services, like Chore-ology, is key to ensuring the aftermath of the crime scene, including scenarios like unattended death, is handled with sensitivity and professionalism.

Crime scene cleaners are equipped with the necessary expertise and safety measures to manage hazardous materials effectively.

A reputable crime scene cleaner adheres to strict industry standards and regulations to ensure regulatory compliance and make the area safe for future occupancy.

When comparing aftermath services, consider their certification, experience, and the range of services they offer. Double check that they have a proven track record in dealing with various crime scenes. Such companies can often provide client testimonials or references upon request.

Their ability to exercise confidentiality and compassion during what will be a sensitive situation should be another key factor in your decision-making process.

Challenges and Considerations

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the major challenges associated with crime scenes:

  • Emotional toll: Cleaners often work on violent crime scenes and murder scenes. This often takes an emotional toll on even the most seasoned cleaners. Thankfully, reputable aftermath service companies go out of their way to ensure that cleaners are as emotionally prepared as possible for the before and after of a cleanup.

  • Legal considerations: Ensuring that the cleanup process doesn't interfere with ongoing investigations is a crucial reason why professional cleaners are enlisted. Crime scene cleaners work closely with law enforcement officials to ensure that legal protocols are followed.

  • Biohazardous materials: Biohazardous materials require specialized knowledge in relation to safe handling and disposal. This is key for preventing the spread of infections and to ensure environmental safety. A crime scene cleaner needs specific qualifications to foster the use of the best practices.

  • Health risks: Thorough cleaning and decontamination are needed to mitigate health risks linked to biohazards. Besides the use of PPE and adherence to safety standards, this entails companies using medical-grade chemicals. These chemicals require specialized knowledge and oftentimes can only be acquired via very specific means.

The Importance of Training and Certification

Aspiring crime scene cleaners undergo rigorous training to handle the complexities of crime scenes. This includes learning how to properly use PPE to protect themselves against bodily fluids and waste that can carry deadly diseases.

Training also covers the proper disposal and handling of biohazardous material, including dead bodies, to prevent the spread of blood-borne pathogens.

Cleaners must be well-versed in basic and advanced cleaning techniques for trauma scenes. This helps to ensure that areas are free of hazardous residues without harming the environment in the process. Knowledge of federal and state-specific legal and health regulations is important to ensure the cleanup process is compliant throughout.

Certificates needed by professional crime scene cleaners include:

  • Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

  • Blood Borne Pathogens Safe Handling Certification

  • Bio-recovery Technician Training Certification

  • Medical Waste Transportation Permit

  • Hazardous Waste Transporter License Certificate

These certifications prove that cleaners are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties. Any reputable crime scene cleanup company will ensure its staff have all the required certifications.

Future Trends in Crime Scene Cleanup

As far as the future of aftermath services is concerned, technologies and practices are constantly evolving. Many companies and industries are implementing innovative technologies to get a crime scene clean with minimal risk to cleaners.

Specialized training programs are also in constant development to ensure practices are up-to-date and take less of a toll on both cleaners and those involved where possible. However, it still looks like current trauma scene practices won't see drastic changes for a while.

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