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Crime Scene Cleanup

CrimeScene

Photo by: Tex Texin from Blogosphere, Cyberspace (“Crime Scene Do Not Cross” tape) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Crime scene cleanup includes blood spills following an assault, homicide or suicide. Property that has been contaminated as a result of a crime is, obviously, messy and hard to deal with. It takes specific restoration expertise and the need to assist law enforcement and public service agencies along with the cleanup. CTS decon technician is a term used for a crime and trauma scene decontamination professional. It is a niche market within the restoration cleaning industry. Crime and trauma scene decontamination requires a significant amount of training and special knowledge, along with requiring special permits to transport and dispose of biohazardous waste.

Biohazardous Waste

Cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, tissue, etc. is considered hazardous because it can potentially be a source of infection caused by bloodborne pathogens. Biohazard remediation requires special knowledge of what to look for in order handle remediation safely and accurately. Bodily fluids that remain on the property’s baseboards, carpets, walls, etc. can be a serious health risk and may make people sick months or even years afterwards.

Restoration Equipment Needed

In order to remove any sign of what happened and any biohazards that resulted from it, restoration professionals need a lot of specialized equipment. They are the secondary responders, arriving after the paramedics, police and coroner have left the scene. The CTS decon technicians play a vital role in making sure the cleanup is handled professionally and accurately, restoring the property back to it’s pre-trauma / pre-disaster condition.

Gear:

Traditional Cleaning Supplies:

  • Mops
  • Buckets
  • Spray Bottles
  • Sponges
  • Brushes

Personal Protective Gear:

  • Suite: Non-porous, one-time-use
  • Gloves: Non-porous, one-time-use
  • Filtered Respirators
  • Chemical-spill boots

Biohazard Waste Containers:

  • 55-gallon (208 liter) heavy duty bags and sealed
  • Hard plastic containers

Cleaning Equipment:

  • Ozone machine (removes odors)
  • Foggers: It thickens cleaning chemicals they can get all the way into tight places like air ducts, etc.
  • Chemical treatment tank: Disinfects and stores matter sucked up by vacuum systems
  • Hospital-grade disinfectants
  • Industrial-strength deodorizers
  • Enzyme solvent: Kills bacteria and viruses and liquefies dried blood.
  • No-touch cleaning system: Cleans blood-coated surfaces from a safe distance (includes heavy-duty sprayer, long scrubbing brush, wet vacuum)
  • Truck-mounted steam-injection machine: Melts dried brain matter that cleaners can’t remove with putty knives

Carpentry / Restoration Tools:

  • Sledgehammers
  • Putty knives: Scrapes up brain matter (which dries into a cement-like consistency)
  • Razor blades: Cuts out portions of carpet
  • Paint brushes
  • Saws
  • Shovels: In about two hours, large amounts of blood coagulates into a jelly-like goo that can be shoveled into bags
  • Spackle
  • Van / Truck: For waste disposal and tool transportation
  • Ladders

Cleaning methods for removing and sanitizing biohazards can vary with different restoration professionals. Some organizations are working to create a “Standard of Clean”: ISSA’s K12 Standard, which includes use of quantifiable testing methods such as ATP testing.

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