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What is Crime Scene Cleanup?

Updated on August 28, 2011

The real truth...

*Disclaimer : This is a topic that is not for the faint of heart and is only written for the educational purposes of learning about what crime scene clean up is and who the services can help.*

Take away the pretty actresses and feel good story of "Sunshine Cleaners" and take away the star power and suspense of Samel L. Jackson and Eva Mendes in "Cleaner" and you have the real basis of what crime scene cleanup is.

Long before Hollywood sunk its teeth into the industry, not many people even knew that the service even existed. For years we have been exposed to watching T.V. shows such as "Cops" or "CSI" - and as a society, I believe we have become accustomed to seeing the police remove bodies and evidence and investigators brush dust over doorways for fingerprints and take pictures... but what happens after the police and investigators leave the scene? The television shows never seem to focus on what's left behind at the sence - which includes loved ones and typically a mess that they are now left to cleanup themselves.

Could you imagine finding your elderly brother laying dead, alone, in his home for more than a month before anybody realized that his newspapers were starting to stack up by the door? Or what about going to checkup on your grandfather over the weekend only to find him laying lifeless on the floor of his living room? How about your neighbor in the apartment next to you who committed suicide with a rifle?

The following is an example of a before-during-after cleanup

So what does happen after a tradegy?

If you have experienced some type of tradgey or know someone who has, crime scene clean up services are there to help you. You can find someone locally by calling a national toll-free hotline 1-888-979-2272 and they can refer you to a local company who is registered with the American Bio-Recovery Association (ABRA).

The crime scene cleanup company will come to your location and remove any materials that may be contaminated with any pathological waste and will sanitize and clean surfaces that may have had contact with any potentially harmful substances. They will try and restore the dwelling back to its original state so that loved ones can continue on with their lives and not be reminded of the tragedy.

So how much does this type of service cost? Well, it can vary widely depending on the amount of waste that has to be removed and the amount of time and labor involved, but most homeowners insurance, property insurance, or car insurance companies will pay for the services and the cleanup company will typically work with the insurance company directly to pay for the services.

Another example of before and after cleanup

What other services do they perform?

Crime scene cleanup companies not only clean up crime scenes. The employees of this profession are also known as "bio-recovery technicians" and also clean up a wide variety of situations including:

  • Hoarding houses
  • Animal urine/feces
  • Automobile accidents
  • Police cars, stations, jail cells
  • Meth labs
  • Decomposition
  • Infection/Outbreak control
  • Disaster/Terrorism assistance


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    • djseldomridge profile image

      Donna Seldomridge 4 years ago from Delaware

      Wow! Great piece, full of interesting information.

    • thisspice profile image

      thisspice 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Raven - thank you! I owned my own business for a couple of years and found joy in helping others in a tough and painful situation. Not many folks realize that the service exists and that much of the costs can and will be covered by their existing home/car/business insurance.

    • profile image

      Raven Recovery 5 years ago

      Excellent article! Such a pleasure to read, especially after reading those auto-generated regurgitate posts going around. You've done justice to the business of crime scene cleanup.