What To Do After An Unattended Death

Tuesday 22nd August 2023

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Specialist cleaner cleaning up biohazards CONTENTS

 

Dealing with the aftermath of an unattended death can be a challenging and distressing experience. Although it may be your responsibility to clean it up, you must leave it to professional trauma cleaners. The clean up process involves more than just making the affected area look clean; it requires thorough disinfection and sanitisation to make the property safe, again. 

Here at ICE Cleaning we offer rapid response undiscovered death cleaning services. We are a leading provider of trauma cleaning services and can remove all traces of biohazards, decontaminate the area, and eliminate any lingering odours. In an emergency, our technicians can be on site in a matter of hours.

Read on to find out what to do after an unattended death and why you must bring in trauma cleaners. 

What is an unattended death?

An unattended death is when a person dies alone and is not found for a long period of time, such as days, weeks, or months. They occur most often with elderly people that live on their own and die of natural causes, or when someone commits suicide. 

As decomposition begins shortly post-death, cleaning a house after an unattended death can be quite an extensive and complex process. Decomposing bodies will release liquified fat and muscles, gases, blood and bodily fluids which are very dangerous to be exposed to and must be cleaned up thoroughly. 

Unattended deaths can also lead to structural damage as bodily fluids can seep into furniture or flooring, as well as stubborn and unpleasant odours. They can make properties very unsafe and unpleasant to live in. 

What should you do after an unattended death?

First, you must contact the emergency services and wait for them to attend. The property should be treated as a crime scene so make sure you don't disturb the scene until after the body has been removed. You should then notify their relatives and friends to tell them that they have passed away. 

Next, the trauma scene will need to be cleaned so the property is safe and habitable again. You must not attempt to clean up the scene yourself, and should instead contact professional trauma cleaners for unattended death clean up. You can learn more about what to do after someone dies here

Landlords' responsibilities after an undiscovered death

Landlords have specific responsibilities when a tenant dies unattended in their property. After contacting the emergency services, you might need to contact the tenant's relatives or close contact. 

Next, you need to secure the property after the body has been removed. You should change the locks so friends and family who have keys can't access the property in case anything goes missing as it will be your responsibility. 

You then have to regain possession of the property by serving notice on the Personal Representatives, or, if someone is living at the property, obtain a possession order. When the police investigation concludes, contact trauma cleaning professionals to deal with the trauma scene. You can find out more about what do when someone dies in your rental property in this blog.

Why you should not attempt trauma cleaning yourself

When an unattended death occurs, the urge to swiftly clean up is understandable. However, without professional expertise, this can put people's health at risk. 

The aftermath of a death involves more than just a standard deep clean. Trauma cleaning is very dangerous, for example, blood and bodily fluids are biohazards that contain dangerous pathogens including HIV and Hepatitis C. They require personal protective equipment (PPE), and specialist handling and disposal to keep the cleaner safe.

Household cleaning products will not suffice in such circumstances as they are not designed for biohazard remediation. They lack the potency required to disinfect areas affected by these substances effectively and could leave behind dangerous pathogens which will endanger the next resident.

There may also be an infestation of pests, like flies and rodents, which are harmful to be exposed to and require professional pest control. Trauma cleaning can be a very upsetting experience, as well, particularly if you knew the person who passed away. 

Trauma cleaners, like those at ICE Cleaning, are skilled specialists who can handle this difficult situation in a sensitive, discreet way. They use industrial-grade equipment and specific methods to safely clean and disinfect areas affected by biohazards like blood and bodily fluids. They can provide any other additional services you may require, such as pest control and odour removal, too.

Get in touch

Our fully trained technicians have been accredited by a range of organisations including the National Academy of Crime Scene Cleaners, SafeContractor, and BICSc. They are available round the clock, 365 days a year. 

Contact our friendly team today on 0208 066 0360 or at enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk to learn more about our undiscovered death cleaning services

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