Crime scenes post-inspection –what really happens to them?

Whether in movies or real life, we have all at least once seen those yellow and black zigzag tapes, with the bold words ‘Do not Cross This Line’ printed on them. These tapes usually enclose a crime scene within. We all know the basics of what goes on during the inspection of a crime scene. From the evidence collection to the stills, it is a lengthy process. But have you ever wondered what happens after the assessment? How does a deadly sight of a crime scene go from being gruesome to a reusable spot? Let’s find out what goes on behind those tapes after the crime scene has gone through with inspection. 

The people behind the job:

After the police and detectives have fulfilled their roles as investigators, private cleaning companies are the ones to call to clean up the crime scene and make it biohazard-free. Trauma and crime scene cleaning companies are an actual thing, and crime scene cleaner is a lucrative profession. Lucrative, how you ask? The average cost of a clean-up can range from 1000$ to 10000$ depending on the crime scene’s intensity. The annual pay range of a worker is about 42000$ to 75000$ according to the company they work with and the number of clean-up jobs they get. 

These companies not only provide services for the sanitization of a homicide or suicide scene, but they also specialize in all sorts of cleaning and disinfecting of anyplace where there is a biohazard threat. The cleaners are professionals trained to bear with the crime’s gruesome sight and the disgusting, gut-wrenching smells. Hence, they are usually ex-military or law enforcement that has already done years of training to stay strong in such views. 

Furthermore, these workers and companies help the victim’s family in dealing with the trauma too. They listen to everything about what happened and ensure that the area would be as if nothing ever happened there. These cleaners are hence compassionate, dedicated, and full of stamina for the job. 

Now, how do these cleaners get ready for such a tedious and dangerous job?

The process of getting ready to deal with cleaning the crime:

The cleaners get dresses from head to toe in a white Tyvek suit, which shields every inch of their body from the dangerous biohazardous chemicals and the blood they expose themselves to at the crime scene. Suiting up also requires them to wear two pairs of rubber gloves, boots, and gas masks.

The gas masks are of a special design to keep them safe, but they don’t keep the awful smell of death and crime away, which these workers courageously work through. These workers put themselves at risk to clean the area so that other people, whether it’s the public or the victim’s family, can be safe and away from a traumatic situation. 

The company first assesses the crime scene to see what level of cleaning it requires and what the workers would need materials and instruments. Then the necessary sealing and securing of the place are done before the start of the cleaning process. 

The equipment that comes in handy:

Cleaning up a crime scene requires a lot of work, especially to make that place spotless, free of chemicals, and reusable. Therefore, these cleaners and cleaning companies use highly efficient and strong disinfectants and cleaning solutions to purify the area. 

The cleaners remove hazardous waste by using myriad cleaners and not the usual household cleaning products. The disinfectants are all EPA registered; that means they are tested and proved to be environmentally friendly while also doing the job. The cleaners use an illuminator to see how deep and far the blood has spread.

The illuminator is a hydrogen-peroxide solution that reacts with the blood to turn it into white foam. This way, the blood is cleaned from every nook and cranny. Otherwise, the people and users of that area could be exposed to airborne pathogens like Tuberculosis, amongst many others. Apart from these illuminators, UV lights’ usage is a common practice to identify potential harmful biohazardous substances. Adenosine triphosphate testing technology is in use to ensure that the area is thoroughly disinfection. 

The infected furniture and items like the floorboard, beddings, curtains, carpets, and walls are also disinfected and peeled off, and changed if needed.

The final process is to release ozone in the area for more than eight hours. This process gets rid of any leftover pathogens or smelling substances. Ventilation of the site occurs, and the crime scene is released.

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