In the past and in some cases today, it was the responsibility of the victim’s family to remove the evidence of a violent death. This was an almost unimaginable task for them as they were in shock and grieving. However, this changed in the early ’90s when crime scene cleanup companies or otherwise known as crime and trauma scene decontamination (CTS decon) entered the market. These companies deal with events that are both as a result of crime and other causes. Whether the event was as a result of crime or not, cleaning up a scene of a traumatic death is not just a horrific task. This task requires intensive training and specialized knowledge to perfectly complete it. Because of the magnitude of the task, these companies charge hundreds of dollars an hour for their services. This job is grueling, hazardous, and not for the faint-hearted.
Crime and trauma scene decontamination is a niche within the cleaning business. This job involves the cleanup of dangerous and hazardous material. This could mean an anthrax exposure site, a chemically contaminated scene of a meth lab, or a biologically contaminated scene of a violent death such as an accident, suicide, or homicide. When crime-scene cleaners come in, they restore the scene to how it was before the incident, something known in the industry as remediation.
The family typically does not have to move out when a violent death occurs in their home. CTS cleaners come in and remove any biohazards that resulted from the incident and any signs of what happened. Any body tissue or blood at a scene or a crime is considered a potential source of infection because federal regulations deem all bodily fluids as biohazards. For you to be able to safely handle biohazardous material and to know what to look for and where to look for it in a crime scene, you need special knowledge. Apart from that, you need special authorization from the authorities to transport and dispose of the hazardous waste. Crime scene cleaners have the willingness, training, and all of the necessary permits to do what they do. Most of these specialists have a medical background (emergency room nurses or EMTs) that prepares them for the gore. Also, a team of CTS decon experts dent to the scene of an incident may include someone with a background in construction because some jobs require walls, built-in structures, and other fixtures to be removed.
As mentioned earlier, CTS decon cleaners handle a wide variety of gruesome scenes that include tear-gas clean-up, meth labs, animal hoarding sites, violent deaths and so many more, each of which varies in unpleasantries and dangers. In all the cases, these men and women arrive after the police, paramedics, and coroner have left. Even though their job involves any type of crime or trauma scene, a huge number of cases that crime scene cleanup companies are called to clean up are unattended deaths (decomposing bodies), accidents, and suicides. The equipment they mostly use include:
- Personal protective gear (gloves, chemical-spill boots, filtered respirators,and a non-porous one-time-suit)
- Biohazard waste containers (sealed, hard plastic container and 55-gallon/208 liter heavy duty bags)
- Traditional cleaning supplies (brushes, sponges, spray bottles, buckets, and mops)
- Hard-core cleaning supplies which may include: an ozone machine to remove odors, hospital-grade disinfectants, foggers to thicken a cleaning chemical, enzyme solvent to kill viruses and bacteria and to liquefy blood that has dried, industrial-strength deodorizer, putty knives to scrape up brain matter, chemical treatment tank, no-touch cleaning system which includes a wet vacuum, a long scrubbing brush, and a heavy-duty sprayer, and others.
In the area? Check out this crime scene cleanup San Antonio TX company.