Understanding the Logistics behind a Crime Scene Cleanup


Before the early 2000s, crime scene cleanup wasn't an industry. There were no businesses providing such a service, so it was left up to family or friends to take care of the work. As you can probably imagine, this was incredibly difficult. The emotional turmoil alone had to be devastating. This is part of the inspiration behind starting a crime scene restoration company in Bloomington, IL. No one should ever be forced to relive the horror of losing a loved one simply because services aren't being offered. While there’s certainly a practical benefit to crime scene cleanup, the emotional well-being of the family and friends is always a paramount concern. However, the process needs to be careful and thorough. Health hazards are always a possibility.


Task

The basic task of crime scene cleanup is fairly straightforward. Ideally, the purpose is to restore the area to a clean and sanitary condition. In some instances, this will be far more difficult than it sounds. Crime scenes run the gambit of looking no worse than your average household accident to being genuinely horrific. There are often a variety of surfaces involved, such as wood, carpet, granite, or tile. Obviously, a single cleaning agent won't usually be viable on all surfaces and for all cleaning purposes. There's also the issue of pathogens.


Risk

It should be fairly obvious that cleaning up blood or other bodily fluids poses a health risk. There are many pathogens spread via contact with blood, which means anyone cleaning the crime scene must take precautions. This includes wearing the proper safety equipment and allocating a buffer zone. There's risk for the people performing the cleaning, but there may also be risk for passersby or people living in the area. This is why it's so essential for professionals to follow regulations.


Regulations

There are health and safety guidelines established and occasionally updated by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. This includes the wearing of a personal protection suit or PPE. Additionally, all materials must be disposed of properly. You can't simply toss bloody paper towels in the bin and carry the can out to the road. As much as you have to protect yourself, you also have to safeguard the health of the public.


Tools

Cleaning agents will range from common household cleaners to industrial-grade solutions and HEPA purifiers. Ozonators are often used to remove odors, and foggers help to penetrate surfaces. It depends upon the situation. Every company has their preferences, but some cleaners are specifically designed to be used on organic matter. Regardless of your personal preferences, it's always a good idea to be cautious. Mixing cleaning products is generally a bad idea, and you should never mix bleach and ammonia. Although most people already know this, it's easy to make a mistake when you're in a hurry.


Process

Always photograph the area before you do anything else and identify any obvious environmental hazards. Designate a buffer zone and change into the appropriate protective gear. The first chemical used is usually Microban. It's an antimicrobial that's used to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria. Additionally, it prevents mold and mildew.


After the initial cleaning, you may use foggers to get into surfaces that are porous and hard to clean. A HEPA filter or ozonators may be used to clean the air. Always bring plenty of bio bags for the disposal of contaminated materials. As a general rule, bring more than you think you need. You'll probably use them.


A crime scene restoration company in Bloomington, IL, goes above and beyond your typical cleaning service. Contact Forensic Restoration Services at (217) 254-6364 if you'd like to learn more.