To the average person, the life of a crime scene cleaner seems extremely gruesome. Dealing with the aftermath of a violent crime requires crime scene cleanup teams to spend their working lives dealing with blood, bodily fluids, tissue, and other biohazards. Cleaning up after someone has lost his or her life is hard on multiple levels.
This is definitely not a job for the faint of heart. If you are curious about the profession, though, here are some secrets about crime scene cleanup that might interest you.
1 – Crime scene cleaners are affected by what they see.
The emotional toll is hard to deal with. People might think cleaners get used to all the gore and sadness, but they are affected by the traumatic scenes they encounter. Just because they know how to do a job that would overwhelm most people with its horrors doesn’t mean they are any less moved by what they see on the job. Many are advised to see a therapist regularly in order to help them deal with such a tough job. PTSD can occur among crime scene cleaners.
2 – Crime scene cleaners don’t work regular hours.
Crimes happen at all hours, day or night, so working a 9:00-5:00 schedule is virtually impossible for crime scene cleaners. Most are on call anytime. A crime scene that is cleared for cleanup at 2 a.m. needs to get cleaned up immediately.
3 – Crime scenes may take a long time to process before cleanup can start.
Investigators stay on the scene as long as it takes to document everything and collect evidence. The longer biohazards have to soak into floors, walls, furniture, and upholstery, the worse the job becomes for the cleanup team. Decay starts to set in and with it, unpleasant odors. Having to wait to clean makes biohazard remediation even harder.
4 – Crime scene cleaners become demolition experts.
Crimes that aren’t discovered for a long time are indescribable. For lack of a better term, bodies that lie in place for weeks–especially in the heat–can melt down. Fluids seep into furniture, bedding, carpeting, and can even drip from one floor down to another. Suffice it to say, crime scene cleaners have to be able to handle crow bars and power tools in case they have to demolish floors and walls.
5 – Crime scene cleaners don’t use 409 spray cleaner.
Their cleaners are so many times stronger than anything you can buy in Walmart. Because they have to find and eliminate every trace of blood or other potential biohazard, they work with industrial strength or hospital grade products. For example, to search out every blood splatter and tissue particle, they use special indicators that foam up, revealing the presence of contaminants while at the same time helping to sanitize the spot.
6 – Crime scene cleaners can encounter dangerous controlled substances.
Crime scene cleaners must know how to safely handle controlled substances.It isn’t unusual for crime scene cleaners and biohazard remediation teams to come across drugs, residue, and drug paraphernalia, such as used needles, in their work. They must be specially trained to stay safe in the presence of a drug as deadly as Fentanyl, which can quickly turn into a life and death situation if encountered. Used needles can transmit HIV, hepatitis, and other devastating illnesses.
7 – Crime scene cleaners sometimes have to help traumatized people.
Crime scene cleaners may not be on the scene alone. In such cases, they must be able to sensitively handle people who are traumatized or grieving. While not trained as counselors, cleaners may be called upon to comfort someone or gently but firmly steer someone away from the scene of horror. It’s in no one’s best interest for family members or property owners to view a crime scene, and people traipsing through can easily cause cross-contamination.
Crime Scene Cleaning Is a Job for Professionals
The preceding should be enough to convince anyone that crime scene cleanup really should be handled by experts. It’s almost impossible for a non-professional to completely remediate a crime scene and adequately follow state and local protocols for biohazard disposal.
Sterile Pros specializes in crime scene cleanup, as well as all other types of death cleaning. In the unlikely event you are faced with a traumatic blood spill, they can make it look like nothing ever happened and remove all traces of contaminants. With crime scene cleaners throughout Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada, Sterile Pros has a team near you.