During an emergency, you might wonder who cleans up crime scenes. While a private contractor or EMT might be able to do the job, some dangers are involved. A forensic cleaning expert may be needed to ensure the scene is clean.
EMTs and Fire Crews
Often, the first responders that arrive at a crime scene are emergency medical technicians (EMTs). These professionals are called to incidents often outside their regular job duties. For example, they may be called to a scene with hazardous materials, such as blood or body fluids.
However, EMTs and fire crews clean up crime scenes differently. They must ensure that the scene remains clean and safe until law enforcement responders arrive.
In addition to protecting the patient, EMS professionals must ensure the scene’s integrity until law enforcement can finish their work. This means minimizing disruption to the evidence. EMS providers should also be careful not to contaminate the scene by walking through body fluids or placing equipment in them.
Historically, biohazard cleanup has been reserved for experts in biohazard remediation. However, a new rule in Detroit requires that first responders clean up blood and bodily fluids.
The policy was implemented this week. According to the Detroit Metro Times, it “was designed to make it easier for first responders to remove blood from the scene, as well as to clean away blood and body parts.”
The rule states that EMT crews who cleans up murder scenes must hose down blood and body parts, collect the blood in collection bags, and wash it away into sewer drains. EMTs must also note the method they used to remove clothing.
Using a private contractor to clean a crime scene can be risky. Depending on the crime, there may be biological contaminants. Therefore, hiring a professional to restore the scene safely is essential.
Most crime scenes are cleaned with plain water, but old ones may require disinfecting chemicals. A high-pressure firehose may also be used for washdowns.
Forensic biology is a subset of forensic science that studies the human body, including blood, urine, tissue, and sputum. Blood stains, fingerprints, and semen can be challenging to detect, but investigators use powders, sprays, and other special equipment to find and extract the evidence.
Aside from cleaning blood, there are other responsibilities associated with crime scene cleanup. Among these is getting into the scene, especially if the property is not yours. Also, you must ensure that you have the correct equipment and training before entering a crime scene.
In general, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates many professions and sets guidelines for safety. For example, a crime scene cleanup company must follow Work, Health, and Safety regulations.
Those who clean crime scenes are commonly referred to as forensic cleaners. They may wear hazmat suits and use specialized equipment to clean the scene. However, this may be more expensive than a standard cleaning job.
Forensic cleaners can be hired at an hourly rate or for a flat fee. It depends on the type of crime scene and the amount of waste. The amount of workforce required to do the job is also a factor.
In addition to the obvious crime scene cleaning duties, forensic cleaners may be called upon to remove difficult-to-restore items. This includes medical waste and items that may contain infectious organisms.
Many companies offer this service. It is best to do your research and find one that is close to your home. This will cut down on the cost of hiring a professional. It is also a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see if they will cover the cost of forensic cleaning.
Dangers of Cleaning a Crime Scene
Taking on a task as emotionally charged as cleaning a crime scene can be terrifying. In addition, many hazards, such as blood and body fluids, can harm the cleaner and those around him. Contact a professional if you are unsure how to clean a crime scene.
Crime scene cleanup requires trained personnel who are equipped with personal protection equipment. This includes face coverings and protective clothing. This ensures that a cleaner will not be exposed to viruses, which can cause serious illness.
Crime scenes can also contain dangerous bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and feces. These are considered biohazards, which means they are hazardous to human health.
Cleaning a crime scene can also result in the transfer of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Crime scene cleanup can also transfer sewage and other hazardous materials from the scene into the home. These can carry dangerous parasites and bacteria.