Trauma clean up, or crime scene clean up, is a topic that nobody wants to have to think about, let alone ever have to deal with personally. Whether it is a violent murder or suicide, or a case of an unattended death, families are left traumatized, devastated, and with a large to do list. In the midst of the grieving process, families must make funeral arrangements, deal with end of life financial items, as well as communicating the tragedy to friends and family. With so much to do, the clean up process is often overlooked.
In many cases, families do not move out of their homes following a death that occurred in that very home. It is then the job of the restoration company to come in and return the scene to its pre-loss condition.
The average person not familiar with bio-hazard clean up may believe that wiping up the blood left on the walls and contents and giving the affected carpet a good scrubbing is sufficient. Unfortunately that is not the case. For example, a thumbnail-sized bloodstain on the carpet could have a 2-foot diameter bloodstain on the floorboards beneath it. As you may imagine the “hidden” blood is carrying germs, bacteria, and possible infectious disease. For the safety of the family and the restoration team, all blood needs to be approached as if it were carrying blood-borne pathogens, such as HIV and hepatitis. This is why these types of situations call for a professional company that specializes in blood and biohazard remediation.
The safety precautions and training a certified restoration team needs is:
First and foremost, a certified technician dressed head to toe with personal protective equipment which is commonly known as PPE. This includes a one-time-use suit, gloves, boots, and a respirator. They should also have all the proper vaccinations to prevent them from potential diseases. The supplies they need can include, but are not limited to, biohazard waste containers, buckets, spray bottles, brushes, hospital grade disinfectants, putty knives, and shovels. Ozone machines and/or thermo foggers, may also be required if there is a smell left behind that cannot be removed through basic ventilation.
When the scene is released by the proper authorities, now the work can begin. The scope of the work can range from containment, carpet and drywall removal, remnants removal, and contents scrubbing. It should be noted that every drop of blood needs to be completely removed. Any bodily fluid left behind has a potential for blood-borne disease.
The final step in violent death clean up is properly disposing of the biohazard material. You cannot put hazardous waste in a regular landfill. In order to transport the waste, companies need a special permit, and the waste must be burned in a medical waste incinerator.
Whatever the specific situation, when it comes to trauma cleanup, safety is paramount and it is best to call a professional.