It is unlikely that law enforcement officials and police investigators would carelessly release a crime scene to the owner for cleaning before any dangerous equipment, weapons or ordinance were secured and removed. However, the police will not clean the site or remove broken glass.
The greatest danger at any crime scene is that blood and bodily fluids are not completely recovered, removed and disinfected. Bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis can remain viable for up to seven days in dried form; HIV can remain contagious for up to 14 days after drying. There are more than 50 viral and bacterial strains that can be present at a death and crime scene and quite a few of them are potentially life threatening. Almost all would require treatment and care.
Crime Scene Clean-Up Risks
The persons cleaning the site are put at risk of contact with fluids that must be assumed to be contaminated with life threatening pathogens, and fragments such as glass shards and splinters compound the danger of injuries that spread contagions. Cleaning persons must have adequate protective equipment, including but not limited to gloves, goggles, an antimicrobial facemask and coveralls. Most importantly, the cleaning person must have a thorough knowledge of the proper use of disinfectants to ensure that the site is cleaned properly.
Tragedy Scene Cleanup Risks
Death and tragedy scenes are likely to contain a wide variety of viral and bacterial contagions that would be hazardous to any person trying to clean the tragedy scene.
OSHA regulations regarding bloodborne pathogens were enacted for very good reason. Nine to twelve thousand health care workers and emergency responders were being infected every year and more than 200 died annually. It is a fact that risks of spreading disease and infections are so high that Health and Medical practitioners around the world treat all blood and body fluids as though they are contaminated with bloodborne pathogens.
Beyond the danger facing the person cleaning a site is the risk that biohazardous substances are not completely removed and disinfected, such that others who come into contact with the scene could become infected. Blood pathogens like Hepatitis can remain viable in dried form for four to seven days and HIV is now known to remain contagious in dried blood for two weeks.
Death Scene Cleaning Hazards
The greatest danger at any death scene is that blood and body fluids are not completely recovered, removed and disinfected. There are more than 50 biohazards including strains of bacterial, and viral contaminates that can remain at a death scene, if the site is not made safe for occupancy.
The products of decomposition are in themselves biologically hazardous to handle without protective equipment and self-protective procedures. But most importantly, and this cannot be stated enough, all blood and bodily fluids must be considered bloodborne pathogens. In other words, biologically toxic substances. Workers must take every precaution to avoid contact with fluids and compounds encountered while cleaning the scene. Persons who have not been properly trained and persons who do not have adequate safety equipment should not attempt to restore a death scene that has been contaminated with life threatening pathogens.
In the event of chemical suicide or a meth lab incident there is a strong potential for chemical contamination. In either case hazardous gasses may continue to be released from walls, carpets and furnishings long after the authorities have cleared the site.
Call BioSpecialists at 866-331-7731 and let the professionals safely deal with cleanup.