10 Things You Didn’t Know Crime Scene Cleaners Do

Joe MayCrime Scene Cleanup, Crime Scene Information

You might think of Bio Recovery as a “crime scene cleanup company”. That’s the name most often used to refer to those of us who clean up body fluids and tissues left behind after a homicide or violent assault. The term that better describes our industry is “biohazard remediation” because we take care of customers with a broader range of contamination problems.

These are just ten of the types of projects within our scope of expertise. Some might surprise you, or prompt you to save our contact information in case you need our services in the future.

1. Contagious pathogens at high-risk facilities

Who disinfects a school, hospital, or retirement community where an outbreak has occurred? What happens when a patient arrives at a hospital with a communicable disease, contaminating the waiting room and anything else they’ve touched? Biohazard cleaning companies send qualified teams to assist or relieve in-house janitorial staff so the sanitation process happens quickly and thoroughly, with as little disruption as possible.

We clean correctional facilities after outbreaks, too, and we also respond after the loss of order or riots to clean up blood, body fluid, and excrement. Again, we work quickly so the affected areas are once again safe for the inmates and staff to enter.

2. Biohazard cars

The term “biohazard car” is a negative designation applied to vehicle titles when blood and other body fluids are discovered inside (or even outside) a vehicle. This reduces a car’s resale value because nobody wants to breathe in potentially-pathogenic body fluid residue. No amount of air freshener can give your police vehicle, fleet truck, ambulance, RV, or passenger vehicle that “new car smell” if hard-to-reach dried tissue and body fluid aren’t properly removed and cleaned… especially if you attempt to sell your vehicle on a humid, warm, or rainy day. We clean up cars in which food, blood, and body fluid spills are too tough to thoroughly clean and deodorize. We can also get rid of smoke and mildew odors.

Did your new baby arrive at a stoplight on your way to the hospital? Congratulations on becoming a parent! But… you’ll probably want to give Bio Recovery a call. We’ve cleaned more “mobile delivery rooms” than you can imagine!

3. Unattended death

When a person has unexpectedly died outside a doctor’s supervision, it’s called an “unattended death”. This may be the result of natural causes, homicide, suicide, or an accident. Sometimes, the body isn’t found for days or even months. When a body decomposes, unpleasant fluids and tissue need to be cleaned up after officials or the funeral home removes the actual body. This can be a fairly straightforward task, or a very involved project requiring removal of carpet, drywall, and subflooring to access leaks trapped within the structure.

Improperly sanitized and deodorized property can cause secondary issues such as pest infestations, mold, and respiratory infections.

4. Hoarding, illicit drug residue, and needle cleanup

We all know that “meth labs” and the residue caused by smoking methamphetamine destroys property values and endangers the health of future occupants. Home buyers are becoming aware that methamphetamine problems aren’t limited to “bad” neighborhoods. Most lending institutions now require environmental testing—including meth residue—in the inspection process prior to issuing a mortgage loan. When a property test is positive, hazmat teams are brought in to thoroughly decontaminate the premises. Bio Recovery is qualified to remediate a number of chemical pollutants, from methamphetamine to tear gas and pepper spray.

Our teams are also trained in handling and disposing of used hypodermic needles (or “sharps”), though rarely are we called out for this purpose alone. Unfortunately, we frequently find biohazardous drug paraphernalia at overdose death scenes.

Sometimes, household debris is a result of neglect due to drug use, but it’s often a symptom of heartbreaking mental illness. We work with the hoarder’s social, familial, or professional support network to remove garbage, debris, and residue inside the premises. These jobs usually require a lot of labor over multiple days and often involve biohazardous cleanup of rotten food, pet and pest feces, ammonia from urine, stockpiled garbage, and unsanitary bathroom facilities.

5. Industrial accidents

Workplace injuries and deaths are traumatic for everyone, and coworkers shouldn’t be required to manage the cleanup process. The aftermath is often too involved for an in-house team, especially one that’s only had classroom training in blood cleanup.

Blood spills and other residues can leak or spray into ventilation systems, machinery parts, and inventory containers, in addition to spreading along structural surfaces. Our comprehensive checklist meets or exceeds OSHA standards for biohazard cleanup at worksites, and we surpass CDC and EPA environmental sanitation recommendations so your staff can focus on their psychological health, and you can safely get your production back online.

We also perform blood spill cleanup at outdoor locations no matter the cause, including death and injury from falls and vehicle-related casualties. Our proprietary absorbing compounds trap and contain blood spills and tissues for thorough cleanup; this is much safer than pressure-washing and hosing-down outdoor surfaces, the act of which usually spreads the contamination and puts unprotected employees at risk. We also sanitize material handling equipment and the undercarriages and exteriors of vehicles involved in traumatic or fatal accidents.

6. Foodborne illnesses

Bio Recovery cleans food processing and packing plants, refrigerated shipping trucks, and commercial kitchens contaminated by E. coli, norovirus, hepatitis, salmonella, and other dangerous food-borne pathogens. We even clean up residential kitchens where surfaces, refrigerators, and freezers need to be thoroughly sanitized after an illness or food storage failure. Improper cleanup after food-borne pathogens can actually spread harmful bacteria and viruses, causing post-outbreak re-contamination of facilities, food, and people.

 

7. Pet odors and pathogens

We love our dogs and cats, but sometimes our animals—or those belonging to our tenants—have accidents. In extreme cases, new paint, carpeting, and padding just aren’t enough, and the molecules that cause the odors to adhere to surface finishes, furniture, subflooring, and fixtures. We use cleaning agents and practices designed to remove odor sources, not simply mask them.

When kennels or shelters experience outbreaks of toxoplasmosis, bordetella, Parvovirus, or other contagious pet diseases, we come in to sanitize indoor and outdoor facilities with effective, pet-safe products and techniques.

8. Everyday household accidents

You know what they say: You’re more likely to fall and seriously injure yourself in your own bathtub than get hurt or killed out in public. There’s a lot of truth in that! Biohazard cleanup companies respond to many, many household slip-and-fall injuries every year, most of which aren’t fatal but do involve a lot of blood… especially when the injury is a head wound.

Blood quickly seeps through grout, into wall joinery, and down through floor vents. When the bathroom ventilation fan is on at the time of the accident, it sucks up blood mist and requires detailed cleaning; this holds true for whole-house HVAC systems as well.

9. Asbestos and mold cleanup

If you own an older home, chances are you’re vulnerable to asbestos-related respiratory disease. Insulation, siding, “popcorn” ceilings, and floor tiles in properties built between the 1930s and mid-1970s may contain asbestos. If it’s left alone you’re probably safe, but remodels and repairs may release dangerous fibers into the air. Our teams have the correct training and personal protective gear to safely remove and dispose of asbestos materials.

Not only do we use cleaning techniques that don’t leave excess moisture behind, but we also come in to clean up existing black mold contamination. Improper mold and asbestos cleanup can actually make the problem worse We get it done right the first time.

10. “Green cleaning”

Have we mentioned that we use environmentally-safe cleaning products whenever possible? It’s worth saying again, especially since lots of people rightfully equate disinfection with toxic chemicals. In some cases, we do have to bring in the “big guns” to meet CDC and OSHA standards, but our policy is to use the safest compounds possible whenever it’s appropriate to do so.

 

Contact Bio Recovery to learn more about our decontamination services

Thanks for taking the time to learn what we offer beyond crime scene cleanup. If there’s something we can do for you, please reach out to us; the above is only a partial list of the biohazard cleaning services we provide to our private, commercial, industrial, municipal, and institutional customers. Without the endorsement of our clients and our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, we wouldn’t be able to claim nearly two decades of excellent customer service.

We’re flexible, but so are your payment options. Insurance typically covers all or most of our fees, and we accept most credit cards. If neither of these is available to you, or you need assistance with deductibles, our customer support staff can connect you with programs to help.