If a crime or similar trauma occurs in your home or business, you are likely responsible for cleaning up the area. Although it is tempting to do the process yourself because it's less expensive, there are significant risks of doing the job yourself and not calling professionals.
The main risk is biohazardous waste, which includes illnesses that can occur from blood, body parts, and other bodily fluids. Some major illnesses that can occur by cleaning biohazardous waste yourself are bloodborne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis. Other dangers may be less common but can include bacterial infections, especially pathogens associated with certain body systems like the gastrointestinal system. E. coli is a major bacteria found in the intestines or fecal matter and can cause serious illness.
Avoiding biohazardous waste is not simply a matter of wearing gloves to clean. Professionals wear special suits and may have respirators so they do not inhale any illness that might become aerosolized during the cleaning process. In addition to proper cleaning protocols, there are also specific protocols necessary for the disposal of biohazardous waste to avoid infecting other people or spreading contamination. Beyond cleaning, it will be necessary to sanitize the area. Carpets or furniture with porous material may need to be thrown out or deep cleaned to not only kill pathogens but to be certain there are no residual odors.
Many items at a crime scene can increase the risk of injuries if you are not prepared to gather and destroy them in the proper manner. Needles could be at the crime scene if the people involved use intravenous drugs. It is necessary to have puncture-proof shoes and gloves to reduce the chance of injury. Needles must be handled carefully and placed in a sharps container for disposal. Weapons or fragments from weapons, broken items, or the human body can pose safety risks. This can include bullet fragments, knives, broken glass, or pieces of bone. All of these items are sharp and could be stepped on. Without the appropriate garments, these items might perforate shoes or standard gloves. Cleaning the scene needs to be done meticulously to ensure no dangerous items or fragments are left, only to be discovered later.
Although cleaning up a crime scene yourself poses a significant physical risk, the risk of emotional trauma is incalculable. If you need a residence or business cleaned after a crime or other traumatic event, it is best left to professionals who know how to safely tackle the issue.
Reach out to a local company that offers crime scene cleanup services for more info.