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The Logistics of Cleaning a Crime Scene

A Horrific Task

Up until the early 2000’s the daunting task of cleaning up a crime scene was more or less left to the victim’s families to personally clean up. It’s hard to imagine how traumatizing and disturbing this must be for someone who may also be grieving for a lost loved one. Before then, there weren’t many options to deal with such a situation. Even today no regulations or guidelines exist that directly deal with the remediation of the violent aftermath of a crime. Since then, small companies started popping up nationwide that offered the cleaning of such events. More specifically, these companies deal with all types of bio-hazardous materials and waste. Cleaning up blood can be hazardous to one’s personal health. Blood may contain diseases and pathogens that can be spread if the proper equipment isn’t used. Thus endangering those involved who may be inexperienced to do so.

Over the years, through trial and error these new companies established the initial protocol to properly clean environments after a death. The only real necessity all companies specializing in bio-hazardous waste must follow are specific health & safety guidelines established by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration). This ensures that employees handling such a scenario are protected and all chemicals/waste materials are properly disposed of.

Many tools are used for the cleaning of a crime scene, from typical household cleaning supplies to industrial grade ozonators and HEPA purifiers. Initial setup includes the unloading of all equipment from a utility truck to the “buffer zone” which is where technicians suit up in a Personal Protection Suit or “PPE”. Once suited, the environment is analyzed and photographed for insurance purposes. If the situation permits,¬†insurance companies will cover the cost of a cleaning under home owner’s insurance. Once photographed, specific chemicals may be used depending on the severity of bio-waste present. One of the most typically used chemicals to disinfect is Microban. Microban is an antimicrobial substance that rids and prevents further contamination of ¬†bacteria, mold, and mildew. It’s the perfect substance when dealing with blood and bodily fluids. Other tools may include foggers, which are used to penetrate surfaces and kill odor causing bacteria. HEPA purifiers and ozonators may also be used to clean the air on a molecular level given the severity of odors present. Any bio materials removed are deposited into red bio bags to be disposed of at specific facilities.

The most important aspect when dealing with the cleaning of a crime scene is that you don’t undertake the process yourself under any circumstances. It’s best to hire the right company to remediate any fluids and debris that may be leftover.

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