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10 Things Every Crime Scene Cleaner Must Know Before CleaningMarch 17, 2023
Sirens. Flashing lights. Scrupulous detectives. When we think of a crime scene, we picture the immediate aftermath — the police tape and investigation. But these scenes don’t remain as such forever. Sooner or later, they return to their original use, whether a home, street or commercial premises.
That’s where cleaners come in.
Cleaning up a bloody scene is a serious matter, especially involving other bodily fluids. You can find them in various settings, including homes, workplaces, and public areas, and they can involve blood, vomit, urine, and more. Therefore, cleaning them up as soon as possible is essential to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B & C and HIV.
In this article, we will cover what you need to know about cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids at a crime scene. We’ll provide tips on how to protect yourself from contamination, as well as a step-by-step guide to the proper cleanup procedures.
Warning: Only experienced professionals who have the knowledge, skills, and equipment required to handle the task safely and effectively should clean up a scene of the crime.
What is a Crime Scene?
It is any location where a crime has taken place. It can be indoors or outdoors, and it can be large or small. The crimes involved have three classifications: violent, property, and digital.
Most cases involving cleanup are violent scenarios involving force or threat, such as murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes involve damage to property, such as burglary or vandalism, which may sometimes require a cleanup.
In contrast, digital crimes include collecting and analyzing digital evidence, such as data stored on computers or mobile devices — they never need any cleanup.
How to Protect Yourself From Contamination
During a crime scene clean up, professionals must always wear the correct personal protective equipment (PPE). This equipment is essential to prevent infection via the mouth, nose, eye contact, or broken skin.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes:
- Goggles or eye protection
- Disposable overalls with a hood
- Disposable plastic apron
- Waterproof boots or overshoes
- Waterproof gloves or needle-resistant gloves
Professionals should always wear this equipment to prevent any risk of infection or exposure to hazardous substances.
People performing crime scene cleaning may use hazardous substances that can cause irritation, dermatitis, and breathing problems. Inhaling or coming into contact with these substances can be harmful to the cleaners’ health. That’s why it is essential to take the necessary precautions.
How to Clean Up Blood and Other Bodily Fluids
Cleaning up blood and bodily fluids is a challenging and potentially hazardous task only experienced professionals must perform. They are trained to handle the cleaning process in a way that protects themselves and anyone else who may be in the area.
Here are the steps professional crime scene cleaners would take to clean up blood and other bodily fluids:
Wear a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Before entering the scene, they must wear the correct PPE to protect against contact with blood and other bodily fluids. They can also use respirators if necessary.
Survey the Area
Once the cleaners have put on the PPE, they must carefully survey the area to identify any hazards and assess the scope of the work. In addition, they will need to determine what cleaning supplies and equipment are necessary for the job and where to dispose of contaminated materials.
Remove Sharp Objects and Other Foreign Material
A crime scene cleaner must remove any sharp objects or debris from the area before the cleaning can begin. It will ensure that they don’t accidentally injure themselves during the process.
Cover Blood Spill and Disinfect the Area
They will then cover the blood spill with a disinfectant to kill any bacteria or viruses that may be present. They have to leave the disinfectant for a certain amount of time, depending on the type used. Later, they will clean the area and disinfect it again to ensure it is thoroughly clean.
Dispose of Waste Material
All waste material, such as cleaning supplies and any items contaminated with bodily fluids, must be disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations. The cleaner must transport the waste to a designated disposal facility. Please note that water damages are a different process and not included in the fluids in this matter.
Clean the Area with Soap and Water
After the disinfectant has been left for the appropriate time, the cleaner will clean the area with soap and water. The cleaning process will remove any remaining dirt, debris, or other materials from the site.
Disinfect the Area Again
Once the area is cleaned with soap and water, they will disinfect it again to eliminate all bacteria and viruses.
Wash Your Hands and Dispose of PPE
After cleaning and disinfecting the area, the crime scene cleaners must remove their PPE and properly dispose of it. They must also wash their hands thoroughly to prevent any potential contamination.
Cleaning up these crime fluids is not a task you should take lightly. It’s important to remember that only experienced professionals trained to handle hazardous materials should do it. Attempting to clean up a scene of the crime on your own can lead to serious health risks and can potentially compromise the investigation.
Cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids at a crime scene is a serious matter. Protecting oneself from contamination is essential to avoid infection from diseases like Hepatitis B & C and HIV. Only experienced professionals must clean the area.
At United Restoration, we specialize in crime scene cleaning. We have the necessary expertise and equipment to handle such situations. If you need our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Remember, never attempt to do it alone — leave it to the professionals.