TV shows and movies such as CSI and John Wick have given the public an idea about what crime scene cleanup companies do. However, the reality of the job is different, and more interesting, than its fictional portrayals. Today, we’ll look at three parts of the job that you’ve never considered.
There are a Lot of Rules Surrounding Cleaning Up After a Death
Running a crime scene cleanup company requires a lot more than some high-tech gear and a can-do attitude. There are a multitude of regulations that any enterprising business owner needs to obey. At the moment, there is no single licensing entity for crime scene cleanup. However, a variety of laws at all levels of government create a framework which anyone in the business of crime scene cleanup must follow.
At the federal level, multiple agencies create rules to protect public health. Agencies with this purpose include the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Health. Crime scene cleanup work mostly falls under the purview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Among its many responsibilities, OSHA regulates the methods that businesses use to handle bio-hazards.
Individually, those who want to work in the business can take classes and obtain their bio recovery technician certification. Multiple organizations offer certification programs.
Your trusted local crime scene cleanup company will maintain a variety of licenses and certifications to ensure they follow the laws and best practices involved in the handling of human remains.
Crime Scene Cleanup Companies Cover More than Just Murder
We often only think about crime scene cleanup companies when a murder has occurred, the kind that appears on fictionalized television shows. In actuality, the industry covers a lot more than just violent crime. Many companies refer to their work as crime and trauma scene decontamination.
Meth labs are extremely dangerous environments. After police have arrested those responsible, the lab itself remains. Many of the ingredients used and byproducts created in the process of meth production are highly toxic. Specialized tools and protective gear are an absolute necessity. Many cleanup companies that clean up after violent crimes also clean up meth labs.
Many of the incidents that crime scene cleanup companies respond to are not actually crimes. If a person dies alone of natural causes, the death is known as an “unattended death,” and is not a crime. Nevertheless, someone needs to clean up afterwards.
Some companies will cover cleanup jobs that are much less criminal, but no less distasteful. For example, if a restaurant loses power, its refrigerator warms up. If it doesn’t regain power soon, all of their food supply starts to rot. Cleanup companies use their skills and equipment to clean the location and render it safe for food storage again.
Crime Scene Cleanup is About More Than Scrubbing
When a professional crime scene cleanup team works on a scene, they consider more than just wiping up. A quality company also performs remediation of a location. Remediation means that the team tries to return the location to its previous condition as much as possible. In the case of a violent death, remediation can mean replacing soiled carpet or furniture.
For more dangerous locations, such as a former meth lab, remediation can go much farther. To clean up a meth lab, crime scene cleanup teams have been known to gut a house, stripping it back to the studs. Often, this is the only way to ensure that the toxic chemicals involved in producing meth are completely removed. As you might expect, carpentry and construction experience often come in handy for crime scene cleanup techs.