When a crime or trauma occurs, the scene must be cleaned up in order to eliminate any potential hazards. The process of crime scene cleaning can take anywhere from an hour to 40 hours or more, depending on the type of trauma and the amount of biohazard materials that need to be removed. It is important to note that crime scene cleaning is different from general cleaning, as it requires specialized tools and knowledge to safely and thoroughly clean the area. Crime scene cleaning is also known as biological hazard remediation and forensic cleaning, as it is not only used for crime scenes but also for other incidents such as accidents, suicide, homicides, decomposition after an unattended death, mass injuries, industrial accidents, contamination by infectious diseases, and contamination by biological hazards for animals.
When a crime or trauma occurs, the police, fire department, emergency medical technicians, or medical examiner's office do not clean up the scene. It is up to the responsible parties to hire a crime scene cleaning company that is properly trained in applicable federal and state regulations and can provide documentation on the proper disposal of biohazardous waste. Companies that specialize in crime scene cleanup must comply with OSHA regulations and have their employees undergo random drug testing and background checks. In addition to physical cleaning, crime scene cleaners must also provide psychological cleaning of the space.
This includes wearing overshoes, liquid-impermeable coveralls, and protective goggles. The work of crime scene cleaners begins when the coroner's office or other official government body makes the scene known to the landlord or other responsible parties. While crime scene cleanup is not an officially regulated industry, there are restrictions, regulations, and guidelines that all crime scene personnel must follow to ensure public health and safety. It is important to note that authorities and first responders do not clean up after a crime has been committed or a trauma has occurred.
Crime scene technicians must ensure that this can happen in ways that minimize dangerous biological hazards and traumatic memories.