Crime scene cleanup is demanding work. As a crime scene cleaner, you will be called to manage a wide range of situations, and you must be able to compose yourself professionally amongst even the most horrific scenes. If you are interested in pursuing a career in crime scene cleanup, it will help to gain a better understanding of what the job entails before beginning any crime scene cleanup training.
Crime Scene Cleanup FAQ
What are the crime scene cleanup training and background requirements?
In most states, becoming a crime scene cleaner does not require a college degree or certification. More than anything, it is important for crime scene cleaners to possess the following:
Compassion. Crime scene cleaners encounter a wide range of tragic circumstances and should be able to provide the families with support and reassurance.
Stamina. The job of a crime scene cleaner can be physically challenging and requires technicians to wear biohazard suits, full facemasks, respirators, and multiple sets of gloves.
Training. Most crime scene cleanup companies require crime scene cleanup training for their employees, educating them on best practices, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and safety risks such as bloodborne pathogen exposure.
Integrity. Because customers trust crime scene cleanup crews with their homes, personal property, and safety, integrity is a must. Many crime scene cleanup companies require random drug testing and require candidates to pass a background check.
Commitment. Families often require crime scene cleaning services during odd hours. Therefore, crime scene cleaners should be dedicated to the work and have flexible availability.
Attention to detail. Crime scene cleanup can result in several health risks, so following protocol and paying close attention to detail is a must.
What exactly do crime scene cleaners do?
Crime scene cleaners specialize in cleaning and sanitizing homes, businesses, and vehicles after homicides, suicides, industrial accidents, and other traumas while demonstrating compassion toward those receiving services. As “second responders,” our #1 goal is to help families recover by relieving them of the burden of cleanup and return to them a home that is completely clean and sanitized.
How is this different from a typical cleaning service?
Crime scene cleanup companies do more than just clean – they completely sanitize the affected area with special cleaning agents and are able to remediate situations that typical cleaning services cannot. Some of these situations include:
Tear gas cleanup. Tear gas is sometimes used by law enforcement at the scene of a crime and can be terribly difficult to clean afterwards. Until all of the chemicals are remediated, a building will remain unsafe and should not be inhabited.
Unattended death cleanup. One of the most challenging situations that crime scene cleaners face is an unattended death. Many people underestimate the detrimental effects that an unattended death can have on the home and do not realize that it can impact both the safety and well-being of future occupants if not completely restored.
Suicide and accident cleanup. Cleaning up blood and other biological matter should be handled with extreme caution. A crime scene cleanup company – unlike a general cleaning crew – possesses the tools and knowledge to remediate a scene thoroughly and safely.
Are there specific health and safety requirements that crime scene cleanup companies must meet?
Although crime scene cleaning is not an officially regulated industry, there are restrictions, regulations, and guidelines that all crime scene personnel must follow to ensure public health and safety. These protocols are overseen by agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). This PDF delves deeper into OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.
Since 1996, Aftermath has been the industry leader in crime scene, trauma, and biohazard removal services. At Aftermath, we believe that our people are what make the difference and that our compassionate, highly trained, and committed technicians help set us apart. Explore our website to learn more about Aftermath, our services, and career opportunities.