For someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, dealing with the emotions that follow can be incredibly traumatic. What many people do not realize, however, is that cleaning up the scene is largely the responsibility of the family – an unthinkable task for those mourning the unexpected death of a family member or friend.
5 Guidelines for Safe Suicide Cleanup
On top of the emotional trauma that goes along with a suicide cleanup, there are health hazards to think of as well. The scene of a suicide is likely a horrific one, with bodily components that can pose serious health threats such as HIV and hepatitis, viruses that do not necessarily show outward signs of illness. When cleaning up after a suicide, it is vital to protect yourself from exposure to these biohazardous materials. To prevent infection, it can help to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE can include coveralls, disposable gloves, respirators, safety shoes, and goggles.
- Use biohazard bags. When disposing of contaminated materials, make sure you throw them away in clearly marked biohazard bags that can be securely closed.
- Clean affected area with 1:10 a registered disinfectant product that has a broad spectrum kill claim. When using such solution, make sure it is not mixed with any other cleaning agents and follow the instructions carefully.
- Decontaminate reusable equipment. Brooms, buckets, and other equipment used in the cleanup should be effectively sanitized with a solution containing a broad spectrum kill claim and left to air dry.
- Seek medical attention immediately if any part of the body is exposed. Thoroughly rinse any areas that have become exposed, and see a doctor immediately if a wound or cut was exposed.
But Wait, There’s Help
Cleaning up after a suicide is often traumatic and overwhelming for loved ones and friends. That’s where Aftermath can help. Since 1996, Aftermath has specialized in crime scene cleanup and has helped thousands of families, property owners, and businesses deal with the scenes left behind from traumatic events.
At Aftermath, we believe no one should have to suffer the process of cleaning after a traumatic event. Therefore, as the industry leader in biohazard remediation, Aftermath’s mission is to relieve the customer’s burden by providing compassionate, customer-focused, conscientious care in the delivery of our services. Learn more about what sets Aftermath apart.