What Is Involved In Crime Scene Clean Up?

Thursday 23rd February 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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CONTENTS

 

Crime scene cleaning is a specialist type of cleaning that aims to restore crime scenes to how they were before. The process consists of removing biohazards, decontaminating the scene, and deep cleaning the affected area. It sits under the umbrella of trauma cleaning.

Here at ICE Cleaning, we provide rapid response crime scene cleaning services. Our trauma cleaners are accredited members of the National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners and are fully trained to eliminate all traces of biohazards. They can be on site in a matter of hours in an emergency.  

Keep reading to find out what crime scene cleaning entails.

What is the crime scene clean up process?

First, biohazards are removed

Depending on what happened, crime scenes usually contain lots of biohazards including:

  • Blood and bodily fluids: these fluids could contain pathogens including HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis B and C, putting you at risk of infection.
  • Human and animal waste: faeces can contain a range of diseases like E. coli, Norovirus, and Hepatitis A.
  • Weapons and sharps (e.g., needles and lancets): you may injure yourself when picking up sharp objects and could be at risk of blood-borne viruses if it is contaminated with blood or a bodily fluid.
  • Dangerous chemicals and toxins: some crime scenes may contain chemicals, such as in meth labs, which give of harmful fumes.

Trauma cleaners will clear away biohazards while wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) so they are not at risk of health problems or physical injuries. They will also know how to dispose of them correctly according to local regulations.

You can find out more about the dangers of exposure to blood, bodily fluids, and other substances here.

The scene is then decontaminated

Even after the dangerous biohazards are removed, pathogens like HIV and Hepatitis can survive for several days and put people’s health at risk.

Cleaning with household products might make the scene look clean, but it will not be safe to re-enter without PPE. Should you touch a contaminated surface with a cut on your hand, for example, you could be infected by one of these pathogens.

Trauma cleaners will use specialist cleaning products and equipment to get rid of any pathogens, and can then run tests to ensure the area is safe to be exposed to.

It will be restored to pre-crime condition

The final step is removing any stains, clearing away debris, and neutralising lingering odours. Crime scene cleaners will deep clean the area so it looks how it did before the incident occurred.

How long does crime scene clean up take?

This depends on several factors including the size of the area that needs to be cleaned, the extent of damage, the dangers posed to the cleaners, and the kind of chemicals that must be used. You can expect large crime scenes to take up to 24 hours to be safe again.

Why only professionals should clean crime scenes

Although it is often assumed the police and emergency services clean up following a crime, the responsibility actually lies with the property owner. This is not to say you should attempt to clean it yourself, however.

Crime scenes can be very upsetting to see, especially if you knew the victim. Professionals can clean it up for you and will be trained in how to support people throughout the cleaning process.

They are also very dangerous to be exposed to without PPE. When you attempt to clean up biohazards, you come in much closer contact with them and are at greater risk of health problems. You can find out more about the dangers of trauma cleaning in this blog.

It is unlikely you will have the training, knowledge, products, and equipment to thoroughly decontaminate the scene, either. You might be able to make it look clean, but dangerous pathogens could be left behind.

Cleaners should have the experience and training to quickly clean the area, too, minimising damage to the scene and restoring it as soon as possible.

Lastly, professionals will know the relevant legislation, such as how to dispose of biohazards, and have experience following them.

What should you do if a crime occurs on your property?

First, you must not touch anything and leave the scene (unless someone requires medical assistance). Then, call the police. They will cordon off the scene to protect the site and should investigate.

You cannot re-enter the scene until they have given you permission. Avoid the crime scene as it could be dangerous to be exposed to. Call in trauma cleaners immediately to make your property safe and return your home to normal.

Contact us today

Our technicians are available wherever you are in the UK, 24/7, 365 days a year. They can provide a range of trauma cleaning services including road traffic accident clean up and undiscovered death cleaning.

Get in touch with our friendly team on 0208 066 0360 or send us an email at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to book our trauma clean up services.

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Zoe Dunning

Zoe Dunning

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