What You Should Know About Crime Scene Cleaning

What is crime scene cleaning? How does it differ from crime scene investigating? These are questions we hear all the time. Crime scene cleaning occurs after crime scene investigators process a crime scene, and includes ridding the home of potential biohazardous materials such as blood and body fluids. As "second responders," crime scene cleaners are not members of law enforcement, but often work closely with police officers and investigators to help families who have experienced a tragic event.

Once the last piece of evidence is collected, bagged, and logged, and the final police officer has left the scene, the family of the deceased is left to deal with the after-effects of the crime. For most, cleaning up after the murder of a loved one is an unthinkable task charged with emotion and confusion. On top of that, most individuals are not equipped or prepared to take on such a precarious feat. This is why many people turn to a crime scene cleaning company for help.

crime scene tape

The Dangers of Cleaning a Crime Scene Yourself

The scene of a crime is a dangerous place to be. The blood and body fluids that are often found at crime scenes can carry harmful pathogens like HIV, hepatitis, and influenza that can be transmitted to anyone who comes into contact with the scene. Therefore, those tasked with cleaning up the blood and body fluids left at a crime scene should do so with adequate:

  • Equipment. Before entering a crime scene, you should be sure to outfit yourself in personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, eye protection, respiratory masks, and shoe coverings.
  • Education. Although crime scene cleaning is not a federally regulated industry, it helps to educate yourself on the risks of bloodborne pathogen exposure and proper PPE use prior to cleaning up potential biohazards.
  • Attention to detail. During crime scene cleaning, you want to be sure to contain the affected area to prevent cross contamination of other rooms in the house. Additionally, it is recommended that you treat all blood and body fluids as if they contain a life threatening illness, no matter to whom the blood belongs. Why? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 3.2 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis, and most people do not know they are infected.

Aftermath has specialized in crime scene cleanup since 1996 and has offices nationwide. At Aftermath, we believe it is our job to lift the burden of crime scene cleaning from the minds of those who are grieving. To learn more, speak with an Aftermath representative today.

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Sources:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/C/cFAQ.htm

Fox NY: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/22484748/violent-crime-rates-increase

OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/recognition.html

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