If the unthinkable happens and now someone in your home, business or property gets injured, accidentally or not, you have a situation on hand. The police, EMT and coroner now show up, and will remove the person injured, perform the investigation, and leave. What’s left? In most cases, you’re left with blood, bodily fluids, sometimes even parts of the human body, depending on the situation. So what should you do with this mess left behind? Here are 5 things you should and should NOT do when a crime scene or traumatic incident occurs in your home, business or property.
1 – Do NOT touch, or have anyone else touch anything.
Fluids from humans, such as blood, urine, or other bodily fluids, can contain diseases and pathogens, especially blood. Bacteria and viruses such as Hepatitis, HIV and C-Diff thrive in blood, and if someone comes into contact with such pathogens, it can easily transfer and spread to others. Treat every drop of blood as IF it was contaminated, even if you think it’s clean. Last thing you need is yourself, or someone else to contract a disease from unwarranted contact with blood.
2 – Do NOT clean it yourself, or have a family member or employee clean up.
If you make an employee of yours clean up after an incident, and they contract a bloodborne pathogen, you and your business will be held liable. People who do not posses proper certifications and training could mishandle the cleanup, and as a result put themselves and your business into jeopardy. Separate liability from your company, by hiring an outside professional to handle the cleanup. By doing so, you put forth best foot forward in remediating the situation, and if anyone should become sick after the professional cleanup due to negligence, your company separates itself from the incident.
3 – Call a Crime Scene Cleanup Company, not a regular maid service/cleaning company.
When looking for a company to hire to clean up after an incident, look for companies that specialize in crime scene cleanup and trauma scene cleanup, like the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association. Crime Scene Cleanup Companies employee specialized, professional technicians with the proper equipment, chemicals, tools and protocol to safely remediate a home, business or property, thereby eliminating risk of people getting sick afterwards due to improper cleaning. Regular Maid services or cleaning companies will generally only have equipment and methods pertaining to generic cleaning, and when dealing with bloodborne pathogens or bodily fluids, the regular cleaning service will fall short, and could cause more damage to the property, furniture or items affected. Not to mention if blood is not properly sanitized and cleaned, family members or patrons could contract diseases, even if there is no visible remnants left on surfaces.
4 – Prepare what info the crime scene cleanup company would need to know, and have homeowners insurance information on hand.
Speed up the process in which the crime scene cleanup company can respond. Most companies can respond to an incident after the police, EMT and coroner leaves, within a few hours. During this time when you call to hire the remediation company, have some basic info ready, like where the incident took place, what happened, some rough measurements on the area affected, contents affected (hardwood, carpet, furniture, items, etc.), and if there is a homeowners insurance policy on the property, have that information ready as well. Usually during this time, the property owner or family member is too distraught from everything that is going on, and we will offer to contact and place a claim on behalf of the homeowner/business owner. All of these key points will help expedite the whole process and will enable out technicians to dispatch out faster, thereby enabling the situation to be remediated and cleaned much faster.
5 – If the incident is related to a crime, and you do not have homeowners insurance, call victim services.
If the incident was related to a crime, and you do not have homeowners insurance, or a claim was denied by the insurance company, fret not. In every state of the United States, there are Crime Victim Funds in place to help families who should be unfortunate enough to go through a traumatic incident. The fund, barring approval, will help pay and cover most, if not all, expenses needed in restoring a home after an incident occurs. For more information on your local state’s Crime victim fund, visit this page here. It has links to all 50 states Crime Victim Funds, along with contact information.
If anything should ever happen, know that companies like the National Crime Scene Cleanup Association are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Helping people, families and communities is what we’re here for. Don’t put yourself, your family or your patrons at risk, call a professional company to help you restore you property back to what it was, so you can focus on more important issues at hand.