Crime scene cleanup experts are rarely top of mind—until a tragedy strikes. Called in to remove bodily fluids, human tissue, blood and hazardous materials, crime scene cleaners possess nerves of steel. These tough professionals, though, do more than clean up contaminated scenes.
Crime scene cleaning pros are known by various monikers. Aside from the familiar title of crime scene cleaner, the experts may be known as trauma scene restoration specialists or biohazard remediation technicians. As these titles suggest, trauma scene cleanup is only one part of the job.
1. Expect Thorough Cleaning
Firstly, crime scene cleanup professionals perform cleanings of all types of crime scenes. Violent deaths naturally call for these experts. The pros arrive onsite and visually scan the environment, looking for all spots left by blood and bodily fluids.
Powerful cleaning agents similar to hydrogen peroxide—but stronger—are utilized to clean up bodily fluids. The solution foams and transforms into a white color when it comes into direct contact with human bodily fluids. The cleaning solution works simultaneously as a disinfectant.
Enzyme cleaners are used to soften hardened tissue, like human brain matter. The tissue absorbs the enzyme cleaner, softening it to the point where it may be scraped off. On occasion, bodily fluids drip through floorboards to the rooms underneath, necessitating demolition tools.
Under such circumstances, where the bodily fluids have contaminated lower-level floors, trauma scene cleanup experts resort to dismantling the entire floorboards. Crowbars and circular saws rip open floors. Technicians even dismantle furniture to access and clean the seepage inside crevices.
2. Expect Deodorization Services
Crime scene cleaners also respond to decomposing bodies. An individual may have died and the body left undiscovered, until the foul stench becomes noticeable to neighbors. The smell of death is unbearable to even the toughest of crime scene cleanup pros.
The respirators the technicians wear during cleanup efforts do not always ward off the noxious odors. Yet, the cleanup experts plow onward to deodorize the home. Equipment, such as HEPA filters, air scrubbers and ozone machines destroy the pollutants causing the intolerable smells.
The strong, unendurable odors produced by a decomposing body tend to be absorbed in the surrounding materials. Consequently, the bedding, carpeting and furniture harbor pollutants. The technicians work tirelessly to eliminate the pervasive stench, peeling back the layers of contamination.
3. Expect Compassion
Once the messy part is over and cleaned up, the crime scene cleaners are faced with a different type of sensitive task. Loved ones of the individual who died often need to vent, and the cleanup company owner or senior technician is usually the one to provide comfort.
While crime scene cleaners help victims’ families heal, sometimes, they, too, need to help. Cleaners who are unable to fully disengage from the stomach-turning aspects of work turn to counseling. Cleanup companies provide paid, confidential counseling sessions to those who request it.
Despite the gore and pain surrounding the scenes of trauma and death, crime scene cleanup experts find immense satisfaction in doing their jobs. These pros understand they are performing a service that not all family members would be able to do, especially in their time of grief.
4. Expect Responses to Diverse Scenes
Violent deaths do not make up the majority of work for crime scene cleaning professionals; approximately one third of death scenes are homicides. Rather, undiscovered dead bodies, where the person might have died alone, and suicides are where cleanup companies source most of their work.
Crime scene cleaning companies also dispatch cleaning crews to perform several other types of work, such as cleaning up homes used as meth labs, cleaning and disinfecting houses owned by hoarders and decontaminating residences after viral outbreaks, like hepatitis or MRSA, have occurred.
5. Expect Coronavirus Disinfection
In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, many crime scene cleaners, aka biohazard cleaning specialists, use their expertise and equipment to decontaminate coronavirus hotspots. Technicians put their health at risk by treating environments known to have been inhabited by those with Covid-19.
Disease cleanup and disinfection are hardly new endeavors for biohazard cleaning technicians. But the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is yet to be fully understood. Cleanup companies pay strict attention to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for cleaning products that effectively disable the virus.
Disinfecting areas contaminated by the novel coronavirus requires industrial strength disinfectants that are also CDC approved and EPA registered. All hazardous waste, such as infected materials, are disposed of in accordance to local and state biohazard waste material disposal guidelines.
6. Expect Crews Wearing PPE
No matter whether crime scene cleaning professionals are summoned to violent deaths, decomposing bodies or to clean up areas contaminated by the novel coronavirus, technicians always protect themselves and others by wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job.
Crime scene cleaning professionals arrive onsite wearing respirator masks, fully lined suits, thick boots, and layers of gloves. The PPE is critical to prevent the bloodborne pathogens, airborne pathogens, viruses and other disease-causing agents from infecting working biohazard cleaning technicians.
People, whether a family member, hotel owner or leasing agent, who have encountered a death on their property should first contact law enforcement. Once the police investigation is complete, consult a reputable biohazard and crime scene cleaning company, like ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration.
ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration cleaning crews are trained, experienced, and dedicated to restoring crime scenes and sites where major accidents have occurred. Our certified technicians utilize powerful equipment, as well as cleaners and disinfectants to clean and decontaminate the scene.
Our experienced and skilled biohazard cleaning specialists also deodorize the space so that occupants can safely return. Hazardous waste is promptly removed. We transport the waste matter to licensed facilities for safe disposal while abiding by all state and local regulations.
Encountering a trauma scene is distressing. ServiceMaster Fire and Water Restoration technicians offer compassion as a part of our services. We’ll also work with your insurance to accelerate claims. Start the healing process as soon as possible by calling us for an emergency response 24 hours a day.