When most people think of crime scene cleaners, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the cleanup of blood and other bodily fluids. While this is certainly a part of their job, there is much more to this profession than meets the eye. In fact, there are many things about crime scene cleaners that most people are unaware of. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about crime scene cleaners:
Crime Scene Cleaners are Not Police Officers
Contrary to common belief, crime scene cleaners are not police officers. While they may work closely with law enforcement and other first responders, their job responsibilities are quite different.
|Police Officers||Crime Scene Cleaners|
|Investigate crimes||Clean up after crimes|
|Collect evidence||Dispose of biohazards|
|Make arrests||Ensure safe cleanup|
Crime scene cleaners are responsible for ensuring that a crime scene is safe and free of any biohazards or dangerous materials. They use specialized equipment and follow strict guidelines to properly clean and sanitize the area. This is crucial for the safety of anyone who may come into contact with the scene, including law enforcement and other first responders.
It is important to note that crime scene cleaners are not a replacement for law enforcement. Their job is to clean up after a crime has occurred, not to investigate or solve the crime. They work in tandem with law enforcement, providing a valuable service to the community.
Crime Scene Cleaners Deal with All Kinds of Violence
Crime scene cleaners are often called to clean up after violent crimes. The scope of their work covers a wide range of violent incidents, including:
|Type of Crime||Description|
|Homicide||When someone is killed by another person|
|Assault||When someone is physically attacked by another person|
|Sexual assault||When someone is sexually attacked by another person|
|Suicide||When someone intentionally takes their own life|
|Accidental death||When someone dies unexpectedly due to an accident|
Crime scene cleaners also clean up after other traumatic incidents, such as unattended deaths and hoarding situations. No matter the situation, crime scene cleaners must be prepared to handle any job that comes their way.
Crime Scene Cleaners Must Follow Strict Guidelines
When a crime has been committed, the scene often becomes contaminated with a variety of hazardous materials, including blood, bodily fluids, and other biohazards. In order to protect both the cleanup crew and the public, crime scene cleaners must follow strict guidelines when cleaning up the area.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established specific guidelines for cleaning up hazardous materials. Crime scene cleaners must follow these guidelines to ensure that all biohazards are properly handled and disposed of.
|Guidelines that crime scene cleaners must follow include:|
|Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and full-body suits, to protect against exposure to hazardous materials|
|Using specialized equipment, such as biohazard containers and HEPA-filter vacuums, to safely remove and dispose of biohazards|
|Properly labeling and transporting hazardous materials to designated disposal facilities|
|Disinfecting the area thoroughly to eliminate any potential health hazards|
Crime scene cleaners must ensure that no hazardous materials are left behind at the crime scene, as they can pose a serious risk to public health. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in serious fines and legal consequences.
Crime Scene Cleaners Must Be Trained and Certified
In addition to following strict guidelines, crime scene cleaners must be properly trained and certified to handle hazardous materials. The National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS) and the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA) offer formal training and certification for crime scene cleaners.
Training includes coursework in bloodborne pathogens, hazardous materials handling, and cleaning techniques specific to crime scene cleanup. Certification ensures that cleaners have the necessary knowledge and skills to safely and effectively handle hazardous materials.
By following strict guidelines and receiving proper training and certification, crime scene cleaners are able to provide a valuable service to the community while protecting public health and safety.
The Emotional Toll of the Job
Being a crime scene cleaner is not just physically demanding – it can also take a significant emotional toll on a person. Crime scenes are often the site of traumatic events, and cleaners must cope with the aftermath.
Many cleaners develop coping mechanisms to deal with the emotional toll. Some find solace in talking to colleagues or loved ones about what they have seen and experienced. Others find comfort in physical activities, like exercise or meditation. It is also not uncommon for cleaners to seek therapy or other professional support.
The Importance of Support
It is important for crime scene cleaners to have access to emotional support. Some professional cleaning companies offer counseling services to their employees, recognizing the unique demands of the job. It is also important for cleaners to be able to communicate with each other about what they have experienced. Sometimes just talking to someone who has been through a similar experience can be incredibly helpful.
Victims’ families may also need emotional support. Crime scene cleaners must be sensitive to the needs of families who have experienced a traumatic event and must work to ensure that their feelings and concerns are taken into account.
Overall, the emotional toll of being a crime scene cleaner should not be underestimated. It is a demanding profession that requires not just physical stamina but also emotional resilience and coping mechanisms.
Crime Scene Cleaners Work with Families of Victims
Crime scene cleaners not only deal with the physical aftermath of a violent crime, but they also have to interact with the families of the victims. This can be an emotionally charged and sensitive situation, and it requires a great deal of compassion and professionalism on the part of the cleaners.
When a family is grieving the loss of a loved one, it is important for the cleaners to approach the situation with sensitivity and respect. This means communicating clearly and compassionately with the family members, and being mindful of their emotional state.
Crime scene cleaners may also be required to work closely with the family to identify any personal items or valuables that need to be recovered from the scene. They will make every effort to ensure that any items of sentimental or monetary value are returned to the family members.
Overall, working with the families of victims is a critical aspect of the crime scene cleaner’s job. It requires a unique set of interpersonal skills and a deep understanding of the emotional toll that violence can take on individuals and communities.
Crime Scene Cleaners Use Unique Tools and Techniques
Crime scene cleaners have a unique job that requires specialized tools and techniques to effectively clean up a crime scene. While some tools may be familiar, others may be surprising.
Crime scene cleaners typically use industrial strength cleaning solutions that are more powerful than traditional household cleaners. These solutions are specifically designed to clean up biohazardous materials and sanitize the area after a crime.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Crime scene cleaners must wear appropriate PPE when cleaning up a crime scene to protect themselves from exposure to biohazards. This may include gloves, masks, respirators, and specialized suits.
Crime scene cleaners must dispose of all biohazardous material in specific, labeled bags that meet federal and state regulations. These bags prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens and ensure the safety of the public and the environment.
Specialized Cleaning Tools
Crime scene cleaners use a variety of specialized tools to effectively clean a crime scene. These may include:
|UV lights||To detect bodily fluids that may not be visible to the naked eye|
|Ozone Machines||To remove odors from the crime scene|
|Hydroxyl Generators||To eliminate airborne bacteria and viruses in the area|
Crime scene cleaners use specialized disinfection techniques to ensure that the area is properly sanitized. Depending on the situation, they may use techniques like steam cleaning, dry cleaning, or fogging to effectively clean the scene.
Overall, crime scene cleaning is a specialized profession that requires unique tools and techniques to effectively clean up a crime scene while ensuring the safety of the public and the environment.
Crime Scene Cleaners Must Get Rid of All Traces of a Crime
Crime scene cleaners play a crucial role in ensuring that all traces of a crime are eliminated from the scene. Not only do they clean up blood and bodily fluids, but they also dispose of hazardous materials, such as needles and other objects that may be contaminated. The importance of ensuring that all traces of a crime are removed cannot be overstated.
When a crime scene is not thoroughly cleaned, it can pose a significant public health risk. Blood and bodily fluids can carry infectious diseases and other harmful pathogens that can be dangerous to anyone who comes into contact with them. Additionally, failing to remove all traces of a crime can compromise the integrity of evidence, making it difficult to prosecute the perpetrator.
|What do crime scene cleaners do to get rid of all traces of a crime?|
|Crime scene cleaners use specialized equipment and techniques to remove all traces of a crime from a scene. They use disinfectants and other cleaning agents to sanitize the area and eliminate any potential hazards. All contaminated materials are disposed of in accordance with local and federal regulations.|
While it is important to remove all traces of a crime, it is equally important to do so in a way that preserves any potential evidence. Crime scene cleaners must strike a delicate balance between thorough cleaning and evidence preservation, which requires a high level of skill and training.
Preserving evidence is particularly important in cases that may go to trial. Any evidence left behind by a crime scene cleaner could potentially be used by the defense in court, making it critical that all traces of the crime are thoroughly removed.
The Importance of Proper Disposal
Proper disposal of hazardous materials is a critical aspect of crime scene cleanup. Crime scene cleaners must follow strict guidelines laid out by regulatory agencies like OSHA and the EPA when disposing of contaminated materials.
All contaminated materials must be placed in properly labeled biohazard bags and transported to a licensed disposal facility. Failure to properly dispose of hazardous materials can result in hefty fines and serious legal consequences.
Overall, ensuring that all traces of a crime are properly eliminated from a scene requires a high level of skill and expertise. Crime scene cleaners play a critical role in maintaining public health and safety by eliminating all potential hazards and restoring the scene to its pre-crime condition.
Crime Scene Cleaners Can Be Called to Clean Up After Natural Disasters
While crime scenes are a major part of a crime scene cleaner’s job, they may also be called in to handle cleanup after natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes. In these instances, the focus of the cleanup is on removing debris, restoring the affected area to its previous state and ensuring the safety and well-being of the local community.
A crime scene cleaner called to a disaster site may work alongside other professionals, including disaster relief workers, to help provide aid and support to those affected by the event. In these situations, the cleanup process may take longer than usual as the team works to ensure that all hazards have been removed and the site is safe for habitation.
Crime Scene Cleaners Must Be Available 24/7
One of the unique demands of being a crime scene cleaner is the requirement to be available 24/7. Emergencies can happen at any time, and cleaning up after a violent crime or traumatic event cannot wait. Crime scene cleaners must be ready to respond to these emergencies quickly and efficiently.
Being on-call is a significant commitment, and it can be a challenging lifestyle to maintain. Crime scene cleaners may need to sacrifice personal plans and even sleep to respond to an emergency. However, the importance of their work cannot be overstated, as many lives can depend on a rapid and thorough response.
Crime scene cleaning companies understand the importance of responsiveness and availability. They often employ a team of cleaners that can respond to emergencies at any time of the day or night. This ensures that their clients can receive the cleaning services they need, when they need them.
The Training and Skills Required to Be a Crime Scene Cleaner
Contrary to popular belief, becoming a crime scene cleaner requires more than just cleaning skills. Crime scene cleaners must undergo specialized training and obtain certification before they can begin working in the field. This training focuses on the proper handling of hazardous materials, blood-borne pathogens, and other biohazards that they may encounter on the job.
Crime scene cleaners must have a strong attention to detail and be able to follow strict guidelines and procedures. They must also be physically fit and able to wear personal protective equipment for extended periods of time. Additionally, crime scene cleaners must have excellent communication skills to effectively work with law enforcement officials and families of victims.
Formal education is not always required to become a crime scene cleaner, but some employers may prefer candidates with a degree in a related field such as forensic science or biology. However, on-the-job training is typically provided by the employer and is required before cleaners can work in the field. This training includes hands-on experience in cleaning up crime scenes, working with hazardous materials, and properly disposing of biohazardous waste.
Obtaining certification as a crime scene cleaner is also important and is required in some states. Certification programs include classroom instruction and hands-on training, and cover topics such as blood-borne pathogens, hazardous materials handling, and crime scene cleanup procedures.
Some of the most reputable certification programs for crime scene cleaners include those offered by the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA), the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Crime Scene Cleaners Provide a Valuable Service to Society
While the work of crime scene cleaners may seem shocking or disturbing to some, it is important to recognize the valuable service they provide to society. Without their work, crime scenes and trauma scenes would remain contaminated and hazardous to public health. Crime scene cleaners play a critical role in the cleanup process and are essential for restoring safety and order to affected areas.
Hiring a Professional Crime Scene Cleaner
If you’re in need of a crime scene cleaner, hiring a professional is crucial. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a company.
Look for a company with experience in crime scene cleanup. They should be familiar with the regulations and guidelines for handling biohazards and disposing of waste properly. A company with several years of experience may also have a better understanding of the emotional toll the job can take and be better equipped to handle it.
Certification and Licensing
Make sure the company you choose is licensed and certified in crime scene cleanup. This ensures that they have the necessary training and skills to handle the job properly. You can also check if they are members of professional organizations like the National Association of Crime Scene Cleanup (NACSC).
Crime scenes can occur at any time, so it’s important to choose a company that is available 24/7. They should be able to respond to emergency calls quickly and efficiently. Ask about their response time and availability before making a decision.
Make sure the company you choose carries liability insurance. This protects you in case of any accidents or damages that occur during the cleanup process. Ask for proof of insurance before hiring them.
Reviews and Reputation
Do your research and read reviews from previous customers. Check the company’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau and other online resources. A reputable company should have positive reviews and a good reputation in the industry.
Clear Pricing and Contract
Make sure the company provides clear pricing for their services and a detailed contract outlining the scope of the job. Avoid companies that have vague or unclear pricing structures. A reputable company should be transparent about their pricing and the services they provide.
FAQ: Common Questions About Crime Scene Cleaners
Here are some common questions about crime scene cleaners:
What is a crime scene cleaner?
A crime scene cleaner is a professional who specializes in cleaning and decontaminating crime scenes. They are trained to safely handle and dispose of biohazardous materials, including blood, bodily fluids, and tissues.
Do crime scene cleaners only clean up after violent crimes?
No, crime scene cleaners are also called to clean up after unattended deaths, suicides, and accidents. They may also be called to clean up after hoarding situations or cases of infectious disease.
What kind of training do crime scene cleaners receive?
Crime scene cleaners typically receive extensive training on how to properly clean up biohazards and other hazardous materials. They may also receive training on how to handle sensitive situations, such as dealing with grieving families.
Do crime scene cleaners work with law enforcement?
Yes, crime scene cleaners often work with law enforcement to clean up crime scenes. They may also work with insurance companies or other organizations involved in the aftermath of a crime or accident.
Is being a crime scene cleaner emotionally challenging?
Yes, being a crime scene cleaner can be emotionally challenging. Cleaners may be exposed to traumatic situations and may need to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of the job.
How do I choose a professional crime scene cleaner?
When choosing a professional crime scene cleaner, look for a company with experience, proper certification, and good reviews. Make sure they are properly insured and have the equipment necessary to complete the job safely and efficiently.