-Well meaning family, friends and property owners often volunteer to clean up a home or business after someone has suffered a prolonged illness or a traumatic death. No matter how well-meaning their intentions, untrained people without the proper safety equipment are exposing themselves to safety and health hazards, and Mark Powers, SERVPRO of Santa Maria serving Orcutt, water damage specialist, has detailed the reasons that cleaning up after any trauma or tragedy is best left to the experts.
Blood and other biohazard contaminants at a trauma or crime scene can pose a serious health risk to people who are not trained in the appropriate procedures, safety and disinfecting practices for removing all traces. In additional those not trained might not properly clean and disinfect the area, exposing themselves and others to dangerous pathogens and hazardous materials.
Trauma scenes are sometimes crime scenes, requiring another layer of training and knowledge that is needed to clean away all the remnants of detection tools such as fingerprint powder, or illegal and toxic substances. Examples of matter that needs to be thoroughly removed from a crime or trauma scene are:
- Fingerprint powder and other chemicals used to gather evidence
- Pepper spray, tear gas
- Fire extinguisher residue
- Blood, tissue remnants and bodily fluids
- Blood-borne pathogens
- Drugs and chemicals used in drug manufacturing
- Contaminated needles and syringes
- Volatile chemicals that require special handling
- Potential water and fire damage
There are a variety of California and Federal regulations that address the procedures for cleaning up and disposing of biohazards and chemicals. These regulations specify safety procedures that protect the technicians doing the cleaning as well as the neighborhood. Regulations also specify the proper disposal of items such as chemicals, human tissue and blood soaked materials, including upholstery, carpet remnants, and other materials that are too contaminated to be cleaned.
The process for cleaning a crime or trauma scene is very thorough, requiring protective clothing that includes respirators, eye protection, gloves and protective footwear and head covers. The appropriate biohazard containers must be on site and disposal arrangements need to be scheduled so that hazardous and contaminated materials are transported directly to the appropriate disposal locations. Supplies need to include very high quality disinfectants and solutions that are capable of destroying blood-borne pathogens, compounds that neutralize chemicals, industrial quality deodorizers. Much of the protective clothing is disposed of after the job is finished. Many cleaning tools are also disposed of at the end of the job.
Any repairs to the premises that might be necessary can be started as soon as everything is clean, sanitized and deodorized. The technicians from SERVPRO of Santa Maria serving Orcutt follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help return an unsafe trauma scene to a clean location. After the police and other emergency crews have finished their work, the cleaning and restoration process can begin.
SERVPRO will respond immediately to any call for assistance with water damage, fire damage, mold removal, trauma and crime scene clean up and a variety of other services.
SERVPRO of Santa Maria serving Orcutt
1279 W. Stowell Road, Suite C
Santa Maria, CA 93458