Many people ask what crime scene cleanup is. It is a term used for the cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infectious materials. It is also referred to as bio-hazard remediation or bio-hazard cleanup, because crime scenes are only a portion of situations that require bio-hazard cleaning. The most accurate name is probably CTS decontamination (crime and trauma scene decontamination). Some of the incidents we clean: homicide, suicide, accidental deaths, stabbings, decomposition after an unattended death, mass trauma, industrial accidents, bird flu, animal feces, hoarding, methamphetamine labs, anthrax exposure, tear gas clean up, infectious diseases, Ebola and animal-hoarding sites. Here at 11th Hour, our goal is to restore the scene to its pre-incident state. The job is hazardous, grueling, and not for the faint-of-heart, or stomach.
Crime Scene Equipment & Supplies
Before arriving on any scene we must make sure we are well stocked on all supplies and bring all our equipment and tools. We never know what we may find, if there is a thumbnail-size blood stain on a carpet, chances are there is a two-foot-diameter bloodstain on the floor boards underneath it. We arrive on site with
- Personal protective gear: a non-porous, one-time use suit, gloves, chemical-spill boots, and filtered respirators
- Bio-hazard waste containers: 55 gallon heavy duty bags which can be sealed and hard plastic containers
- Ozone machine: to remove odors
- Traditional cleaning supplies: mops, buckets, spray bottles, sponges, and brushes
- Cleaners: hospital grade disinfectant, industry strength deodorizers, and an enzyme solvent to kill bacteria and viruses and liquefy dried blood
- Other: putty knives, razors, shovels, ladders, wet vacuum, sledge hammers, spackle, saws, paint brushes, steam injection machine, and of course a camera to take before and after photos.
The Hazards: Blood, Guts, Diseases and Poisons
The sites we clean pose dangers that cannot always be seen. Infections can result from blood borne pathogens and bodily fluids that remain in walls, baseboards, or floors can make people sick months or years later. Cleaning can take one hour or forty hours, the area must be truly cleaned and not just look clean. In cases of unattended deaths, the mess can be very large, after death body bloats and eventually explodes, leaving bio-hazard materials in a large area. Cleaning up meth labs are particularly scary. The list of poisons used to make street-grade methamphetamine leaves a toxic residue that coats and infuses every surface and stays in the air. Most of these poisonous substances are absorbed through the skin, making a meth lab one of the most dangerous sites for us to clean. The scene remains toxic indefinitely unless it is properly cleaned. An apartment that housed a meth lab can make its tenants sick a decade after the lab is removed. We know when we clean any type of site, it must be done properly. We have the training, the equipment, the compassion, and the stomach to do these jobs.
If you live in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin, and have any of these situations happen in your life, please call us, we want to help. Call 877-866-8877 for a consultation or if you have questions, at 11th Hour, Inc. we are here 24/7.