Is It Necessary to Hire Crime Scene Cleaning Services After a Death?
Death is very surprising, especially when it happens around you. While you have to deal with the grief and trauma, you also have to pay attention to the proper cleaning up of the death scene, especially if it’s unexpected and maybe a crime. To do that, you can search for “home cleaning services near me” and hire qualified professionals for the job. Let’s check out if it’s necessary to hire crime scene cleaning services after a death.
- First two stages of decomposition after the death – As soon as a human being dies, their body starts to decompose. It may not be necessary to hire a crime scene cleaning service if there’s no blood or biological matter or any other evidence of suggestive crime left behind. However, it’s best to hire those specialized services as soon as possible. Otherwise, the room would become a biohazard location as more time passes.
Decomposition of a body happens in four stages, and it starts with self-digestion. It begins as soon as a person dies. With no blood circulation or respiratory activity, oxygen supply is cut off to various cells in your body and digestion stops. This leads to a build-up of carbon dioxide and makes the body more acidic which in turn starts the death of cell membranes. As the cell membranes die off, they release self-digestion enzymes that consume those cells. The medical term for this stage is Pallor Mortis where the body stiffens up within 3 to 6 hours of death. Blisters start appearing on the body and pop out.
Next, the body starts to bloat up and in time almost doubles in volume. This is caused due to gasses created by the leaked enzymes. The same gasses also make the skin go pale. At this stage, the body attracts all kinds of pests and insects since the body creates a foul stench to attract them.
- Active decay and skeletonization – The next stage is the messiest one since the mass of the corpse starts to disintegrate. That means the internal organs and soft tissues of the body start to liquify and internal fluids come out through the various orifices of the corpse. During this stage, maggots start eating the body.
This stage is followed by skeletonization, and people rarely get to witness it since bodies are discovered by the foul stench within the second or third stage. In the final stage, the remaining organs and tissues disintegrate, and it can take anywhere from a few days to weeks depending on various environmental factors.
- Certifications – As mentioned above, a dying and decomposing body is an active biohazard. While it’s not absolutely necessary to hire crime scene cleaning services after death, it’s best that you hire their services to restore your home or business into a safe and hygienic environment. However, before you hire crime scene cleaning services, you need to make sure that they are certified and legit.
There are several types of certifications for crime scene cleaning services, and they even include blood cleanup and biohazard cleanup. If the death scene is not cleaned properly by following the right standards, it may lead to the spread of airborne and bloodborne diseases. If you come in contact with blood and bodily fluids you may get infected with diseases like hepatitis B, HIV, and MRSA.
That’s why you need to make sure that the company you hire follows strict guidelines and has important certifications from both state and federal authorities. Here’s a list of certifications you should look out for:
- OSHA specialist tested – Code of Safe Practices.
- IICRC certification for odor control.
- AMDECON certification for Crime Scene Cleanup Decontamination.
- State certification for Meth Lab Decontamination License.
- API Worksafe certificates.
- EPA certification.
- Inspect staff training – This is one of the most important things you need to do when hiring a crime scene cleaning service. Unlike regular home cleaning workers, people who clean up a crime scene are more like technicians. They need to have extensive training and preferably a lot of experience in death cleanup and handling biohazards that may not be visible at the first glance at the crime scene.
They need to identify and target specific areas of the room and then use hospital-grade cleaning equipment. After they remove all the bodily fluids and biomatter with that specialized equipment they need to clean up materials left by law enforcement. That may include everything from fingerprint powder and pepper spray to harmful tear gas cans.
Apart from the staff’s training and expertise they also enquire about the customer service. The team members and technicians should clearly explain the cleaning process to you and set your expectations straight right from the start. They should be patient and be willing to answer all your questions.
- Client privacy – When you hire a crime scene cleanup service, you also need to make sure that they ensure your privacy at all costs. Crime scene cleanups come with a lot of emotional and personal baggage and people usually like to keep those sensitive matters to themselves.
While it’s impossible to hide the presence of law enforcement and paramedics, the cleanup service should handle other matters with secrecy and should be able to keep a zip on their employees. You can also ask them to sign non-disclosure statements as long as it doesn’t impede law enforcement in any way.
- Documentation and insurance – A reputable death cleaning service should also be able to assist you with the post-cleanup report and documentation. A decent crime scene cleanup service would ask you to keep your insurance policies around so that they can assist you and figure out if the death cleaning service is covered by the policy.
While crime scene cleaning services after death aren’t necessary if there’s no crime, it’s best to hire professionals for the clean-up service due to the biohazard risks. To do that, you can search for “home cleaning services near me” and hire professionals who are qualified and have spent years doing this job.