Does Insurance Cover Unattended Deaths Clean Up Costs?

Does Insurance Cover Unattended Deaths Clean Up Costs?

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Unattended Deaths?

Does homeowner insurance cover unattended death? This blog post will answer that question and share tips on getting the most out of your policy when dealing with tragedy.

No one ever wants to think about an unattended death in your home or the home of a loved one. If this ever happens, it can be easier if you have the proper homeowner’s insurance coverage.

In an already traumatic time, the less you think about what to do next, the better. Thankfully, a homeowners insurance policy can take care of a lot, handle a bit of the burden, and allow you to pass off the work to someone else while you deal with the death.

This blog post will discuss if homeowner insurance covers unattended death, what questions you should ask your provider, and more.

Let’s get into it.

Does Insurance Cover Unattended Deaths Clean Up Costs?

Yes, it does.

Although a few policies don’t cover unattended deaths, most homeowner insurance policies will cover these deaths. You will be covered if you are with a major company and have a good policy. The same applies to business insurance policies, too, meaning if you have an unattended death at your business, you will be covered too.

The best way to know is to contact your insurance provider and discuss your coverage.

What Specific Types Of Cleanup Does It Cover?

There are two main types of cleanup that your policy will cover:

Body removal: Your insurance provider will contact a vendor to remove the body and transport it to where it needs to go.

Bodily fluid cleanup: The corpse may leave behind bodily fluids, and your vendor will clean them all (it is essential to ensure you employ a vendor that can deal with biohazards).

There is also an additional type of cleanup that your policy might cover:

Property damage: If the unattended death caused any property damage, such as broken furniture, windows, etc., your policy might pay for this too, though you will need a separate vendor.

What Questions Can You Ask Your Insurance Provider To Determine If You Have Coverage?

The most basic question to ask your provider is if you have unattended death cleanup coverage. If you don’t, work with them to add that to your policy.

If you do have coverage, you should find out what the policy covers—if it only covers the cleanup of the body and the fluids or if it covers damage to the property and anything else that might come with the death.

What To Do If You Don’t Have Insurance Or Aren’t Covered For Unattended Death?

If you don’t have insurance coverage or your coverage doesn’t cover unattended death, then you may find yourself in a situation where you must deal with the body yourself. This is not something you ever want to think about, but if you are in that situation, you can follow this quick checklist to get through the process:

  • Contact the authorities: Even if the death is from natural causes, you should still call the police. The authorities will call their local coroner to examine the body and determine the cause of death.
  • Transport the body: If the authorities allow you, you should arrange for the body to be transported to a mortuary or crematorium. The closest kin is responsible for transporting the body.
  • Call family and friends: You should notify any family and friends of the passing or contact the person who can do this for you.
  • Hire a biohazard cleanup company: It is never recommended to tackle any cleanup yourself, both for your physical and mental health.

Why Should You Avoid Delays?

The longer you wait to clean up an unattended death, the worse the situation will get. Regarding biohazards, the cleanup should begin as quickly as possible, and if a vendor can enter the property, there should be no delays. Biohazard materials can be removed safely, and further damage and contamination can be prevented.

You also want to speed up the insurance process. The longer it takes to file a claim, the longer it will take for the claim to be paid, and if you take too long, the claim might be rejected.

Should You Use The Preferred Vendor?

The short answer is no.

While insurance companies deal with professionals, they often employ vendors to deal with multiple types of cleanup. It is not unusual for vendors that deal with mold, water damage, and fire to be sent to deal with the cleanup associated with death. While they might excel in specific situations, they are unlikely to be trained in unattended death cleanup.

Remember, the vendor is more interested in pleasing the insurance company than in pleasing you.

You may be tempted to throw in the towel and let the insurance company handle everything while you greave and/or move on with your life. However, this is one area where it is best to do a little of the work yourself and ensure that the insurance company is hiring a professional that will be able to do the job safely and professionally.

Biohazard cleanup is a niche business, but dedicated vendors like Spaulding Decon are out there.

What If You Can’t Find The Deceased’s Policy?

The most common problem is waiting until the cleaning is done before they can enter the home and retrieve the policy. You must work with an insurance company that will not only help look for the policy as part of the cleanup process but will also not delay the cleanup because the policy is not readily available.

Starting out with a trusted insurance company is key. While they are a business and the policy is needed to cover the costs, they should be willing to work with you to locate the policy as part of the cleanup process and not delay while you are left to find it by yourself.

The Claim Process

As long as you work with your insurance company closely, the claim process should be hassle-free.

  1. First, a date and time are chosen for the cleanup.
  2. Photos are taken and data is collected before, during, and after the cleanup.
  3. The homeowner’s insurance policy is collected, and a claim is filed with the insurance provider.
  4. The cleanup vendor should be the one to deal with the company, and they will supply all information to the insurance company.
  5. You will be contacted to discuss the coverage and claim and for any more details to be collected.
  6. The vendor collects and sends the final batch of information to the insurance provider.
  7. You will be invoiced for any deductibles if necessary, but you will be contacted about this in advance.

Choose Spaulding Decon As Your Unattended Death Cleanup Vendor

Whether you have homeowners insurance or not, you should choose Spaulding Decon as your vendor for an unattended death. We have the physical and mental tools to help your family, business, or organization deal with the cleanup.

We implement an unmatched process with resources that set us apart from the competition. Our biohazard remediation services include thorough testing prior to beginning our cleanup process, to ensure that every aspect of the situation is accounted for.

When faced with a biohazard cleanup situation, Spaulding Decon is the most trusted name in the business. Click here to learn more about our services and how our biohazard remediation process works.

eBook - What To Do When Police Leave

There are so many misconceptions about law enforcement’s role when it comes to crime scenes and investigations. When law enforcement is called their sole responsibility is to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and solve a crime. There is no thought whatsoever to the cleanup or restoration to your home. Learn more in this free eBook by Spaulding Decon.

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Resources for Suicide Survivors

Resources for Suicide Survivors

Losing a loved one to suicide is a traumatic event that changes the course and the essence of the survivor’s life. Many feel responsible for the death and wonder how they missed the signs or if they could have stopped it somehow.

According to the CDC, suicide is a leading cause of death in the US, responsible for 45,979 deaths in 2020. Many people attempt suicide and don’t succeed but are left with emotional and often physical scars that remain for a lifetime. Some are unsuccessful, but the attempt was responsible for physical, emotional, and mental issues that will never disappear.

This article will help survivors of suicide (both the family members who lost someone and those who attempted to end their own life) and share helpful resources.

What about the survivors?

Often when we think about suicide, we question why the victim opted to stop living or what the underlying conditions were; however, very seldom do we stop to think about its effects on the surviving members. Sadly, many survivors of suicide loss are unaware that many resources are available to help them deal with their grief and to help them get the support they need to move forward.

According to Alliance Of Hope, every 40 seconds, we lose a life by suicide, leaving on average 6-8 loved ones behind to pick up the pieces and deal with the devastating grief. This grief is unlike normal grief due to a loss because this grief has additional layers to it, and while you may never fully get through it. Finding coping mechanisms, support and healing is imperative to get through each day. This grief often leads to deep depression, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you are feeling these symptoms, it is important to know that resources and help are available.

Coping with grief and finding ways to heal

Grief is a complicated process and quite different for everyone. There are no right or wrong ways to experience grief. You may be overtaken by emotions unknown to you or reactions to things that catch you or others off guard. The grief associated with suicide loss often produces guilt and profound sorrow. It is important to allow yourself the grace to feel your emotions and have a safe space to express them.

Finding a support system is crucial. Perhaps a mental health specialist who can help you navigate your emotions and cope with your grief, maybe journalling or joining a support group for suicide survivors. Some survivors plan a memorial to help them honor the life they have lost. In any case, taking care of yourself and finding support is necessary. Give yourself grace, be patient, expect to have highs and lows, try to focus on the great times you had with your loved one, and seek support from family, friends, therapists, or even a psychiatrist if your symptoms take a turn for the worst. The emotional pain becomes too much to bear.

Choosing to advocate

Another way to help someone deal with their loss is to use their story to encourage others. Perhaps you may join a suicide prevention organization for volunteer opportunities or do public speaking at schools or in areas where suicide is highly prevalent such as veteran organizations or law enforcement events, any form of advocacy is helpful.

This allows you to speak about your experience and talk about your loved one in a way that honors their life, and it allows you to give your life some purpose and use your tragedy to help someone else. Every life saved is worth the effort. Once you are coping with your healing and in a place where you are highly functioning and have gotten the support you’ve needed, you may want to become a support system to someone currently dealing with a loss. Maybe you would consider starting a support group.

All of these are wonderful ways to honor your loved one and make some sense of the future. Always be sure to start with taking care of yourself first. If you are not well, you will not be able to help others dealing with suicide loss.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, there are plenty of resources you can reach out to. Some can text, others can call, and some hospitals will provide help immediately.

Six Helpful Resources

There is help out there. Asking for help in a time of need is the greatest strength you can show. The following six resources are available if you have lost someone to suicide.

AFSP

You never understand what someone has gone through unless you have gone through it yourself. The volunteers at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention have all lost someone to suicide.

They help people who are thinking suicide is the only option, those who have lost someone to suicide, suicide survivors, and those who are worried about family members and friends.

The volunteers will counsel you through any suicide-related situation.

Link: afsp.org/ive-lost-someone

SPRC

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center is your resource of resources. If you have lost someone to suicide or attempted suicide yourself and don’t know where to turn, the Resource Center will help guide you to the help you need.

There is no one solution for everyone, and that is reflected here. If you do not know what help you need, you can use this website to find a resource that is personal to you.

You can search for resources or programs and find the help you need to continue your life.

Link: sprc.org/livedexperience/tool/resources-survivors-suicide-loss

Florida Department Of Children & Families

The Florida Department of Children and Families is an organization that is set up to help everyone, but they focus on families within Florida. Suicide is a global issue, but talking with someone who knows a little more about what you are going through and where you are coming from is a massive benefit.

They have local support, and that allows you to connect with people in your area when you feel ready, of course.

Link: myflfamilies.com/service-programs/samh/prevention/suicide-prevention/loss-survivors.shtml

Samaritans Hope

The Samaritans have been helping people for decades, and many have found a reason to go on after talking with a Samaritan volunteer.

We are not going to suggest that the Samaritans are the solution to your problems, but they will help you to find perspective and give you the strength and tools to deal with and process what you have been through.

The Samaritans offer a variety of programs for children and adults.

Link: samaritanshope.org/our-services/grief-support/find-grief-support-resources

Alliance Of Hope

Alliance of Hope has two main focuses: healing and remembrance. Getting past a suicide is not immediate, and it takes time to heal from something so traumatic. And while suicide can be scarring, the person who committed suicide should not be forgotten—remembering them is a part of the healing process.

You are not alone, and the hope alliance is there for you when you feel alone. A network of suicide survivors is waiting to guide you through this chapter of your life.

Link: allianceofhope.org

TAPS

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors offers help and support to the survivors of military suicide. The grief from suicide is different from any other form of grief, and the hard truth is that suicide within the military is common and often hard to understand.

If you have lost a loved one who was a part of the military, you have help at hand. There are volunteer survivors who have been exactly where you are now, and they will help you work through “healthy grief” so you can live your life.

Link: taps.org/suicide

**Spaulding Decon is often called to clean up suicides. These are the most difficult of all the jobs we do. We strongly advise that you seek help if you or someone you know is contemplating suicide. Please use the resources listed on this blog.

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We Clean Up Life's Accidents

Our compassionate crew members across the Nation have a plan to get you back to what matters. Give us a call 24/7 for help with emergency cleaning and property restoration: (833) 804-6600 or Find Your Location

(833) 804-6600 | Copyright © 2022 Spaulding Decon | All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy & Terms

 

               

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Suicide: The Signs, Causes, & Prevention Resources

Suicide: The Signs, Causes, & Prevention Resources

 

Suicide: The Signs, Causes, & Prevention Resources

Life can be overwhelming for many. For some, their circumstances, struggles, or perhaps the state of their mental health can create extra stress, pain, and unbearable burdens.  At times the weight of their circumstances becomes too heavy to bear, and they may begin to wish it all away.

Most suicides or attempts are related to mental health issues such as depression, personality disorders, trauma, substance abuse, and hopelessness. Hopelessness can be brought about by chronic pain, illness, debt, or a sudden change in circumstances.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide was responsible for the death of 45,979 Americans in 2020, and 1.2 million people attempted suicide. These troubling statistics prove that we all need to know the signs of suicide. What could cause someone to want to end their life? We’ll discuss that in this blog post.

Disclaimer: We are not licensed therapists and this blog post is not meant to be a substitute for professional help.

 

What is suicide?

Suicide is when someone ends their own life. Most people survive suicide attempts. However, the impact, shame, or stigma associated with suicide, is something most will never forget. Suicide attempts are not uncommon and leave a lasting effect on families and loved ones.

 

Possible Causes Of Depression & Suicide Attempts

Suicidal ideations can be felt by anyone at any age, regardless of ethnicity or gender.  The essence of being suicidal is the increasing feeling of hopelessness or worthlessness. It is an emotional wound that carries a burden that seems too heavy to carry.

Some of the most common reasons why someone may decide to take their life may be:

  • Mental Health Issues: Mental health issues affect every aspect of a person’s life. Issues like depression, anxiety, mood disorders, or schizophrenia are a few mental health issues that can cause someone to feel suicidal.
  • Bullying: Bullying is when someone intends to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable). Those reasons can sometimes include your race, ethnicity, height, weight, or any other distinctive characteristic or experience. Any kind of threat can fall under this category as well. There have been cases of kids who have committed suicide due to being threatened online over explicit images and things of that nature.
  • Abuse: Whether it be physical abuse, mental abuse, or emotional abuse, these can have a strong effect on someone and may cause them to want to harm themselves as they may feel there is no way out of their situation.
  • Economic/Financial troubles: Someone may be concerned about their lack of income. Perhaps they may be facing homelessness or be afraid of losing the life they obtained. This can cause suicidal feelings in someone.
  • Loss of a loved one or relationship: Losing someone you love can be extremely difficult. Learning to continue your life without someone you held near and dear is extremely painful and can often leave someone depressed and hopeless.  It is not uncommon for people to commit suicide over grief.
  • Loneliness: Being isolated can leave someone feeling lonely and as though no one is around to care about them. They may feel alone and lack community and support.
  • Feelings of inadequacy: Feeling as though you are not good enough or worthy of the life you have is certainly not uncommon for someone who is considering ending their life.
  • Addiction: Substance abuse can have chemical effects on the body. Fighting addiction is a difficult and lengthy process that can leave someone feeling drained or discouraged. They may feel unable to beat the addiction and thus feel suicidal.
  • Trauma: People can experience trauma from almost anything that changes the course of their lives. For some, it is sexual abuse, physical abuse, an accident, experiencing an event that leaves an emotional imprint on your existence, or any kind of incident that affects someone’s peace or the course of their lives.  Veterans and people in Law Enforcement are at higher risk of suicide due to the trauma they experience on the job.
  • Postpartum Depression/hormonal changes: An imbalance in the body can cause feelings of hopelessness and affect someone enough to consider suicide.
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause someone to have suicidal thoughts, especially if it is the wrong medication for that person. While antidepressants are meant to help with depression, it often takes a few trials with different medications to find the right ones.  It is extremely important to check in with your doctor regularly if your medication makes you suicidal or depressed.

 

Indications Someone May Be Considering Suicide

Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts, but signs often indicate someone may be considering acting on their thoughts. Below you will find a few examples of signs to look for:

  • The person may verbally express their desire to die or to go away.
  • The person may express feelings of hopelessness or feeling that there is no way out.
  • The person may be discussing or making statements such as “Life would be better without me around” or say things such as “No one would miss me if I were gone”.
  • They may withdraw from family, friends, or activities.
  • If someone is saying “goodbye” to loved ones or giving away their possessions, this may signify that they are contemplating suicide.

Please note that this list is not exclusive. ***  If you suspect someone is suicidal, please seek help immediately.

 

Other less obvious signs may include:

  • Unusual changes in behavior, sleep
  • Perhaps that person purchased a gun
  • The person may withdraw emotionally from their support system
  • Chronic pain or illness can make someone want to end their life

 

What to do if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you are not alone.  Many people struggle with suicidal thoughts, and some even attempt to commit suicide almost daily. There are many resources help you overcome your feelings of grief, pain, and sadness. There are several support methods, including support from your medical provider or a psychiatrist, suicide prevention centers you can call anytime,  therapy, support groups, medication, and crisis prevention services.

  • Step 1- SEEK HELP! You are not alone.  There are so many resources available to help you. Tell someone immediately that you are experiencing these thoughts.   (See below for a list of resources)
  • Step 2- Avoid using substances to help you numb the pain that is not medically prescribed.
  • Step 3- Remove anything from your home that you could use to harm yourself.
  • Step 4- Commit to seeking help. Depression is similar to many other ailments in that it takes time to heal and begin to feel better.  Better days will come if you seek help, and commit to working in a program with your medical provider or psychiatrist.  Have a designated person you can call when you have these thoughts or call the suicide prevention hotline.

 

Suicide Prevention Resources:

Many organizations, support groups, and medical professionals are on call and available at all hours to help you during a crisis.  Remember you are NOT alone.  Depression and feelings of hopelessness plague many people.  Please visit The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention for a thorough list of resources. ***  If you suspect someone is suicidal, call the Suicide Help HOTLINE: Dial 988 or visit the NIH (National Institute of Mental Health) online: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention

 

Special Note from Spaulding Decon

 Our business specializes in cleaning up biohazards and suicide cleaning is within that scope of work. It is heartbreaking for us when we must clean up homes where someone has taken their life. It is devastating to watch the pain families are experiencing and even harder to accept that there is little we can do to comfort them or make their pain disappear. We have yet to experience a suicide that has not left the family completely emotionally depleted. If you are considering suicide, please remember you are LOVED and that there are many resources within your reach to help you overcome your grief.

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Law Enforcement Procedures for Informing Family Members of Loved Ones Suicide

Law Enforcement Procedures for Informing Family Members of Loved Ones Suicide

Initial Procedures taken by Law Enforcement

Due to the nature of suicide, authorities must investigate the scene to rule out any foul play prior to advising the families. Officers are given the difficult task of disclosing the incident to families of the deceased.  It is not an easy job, but authorities must remain objective as well as empathetic.   

When officers talk to families to inform them that their loved ones have passed, they must remain calm, be very direct and use words such as “(victims name) has committed suicide and died as a result of it”, for example.    

The communicating parties from Law Enforcement need to specifically say that the family member has died and not sugar coat it as family members often go into a state of shock and are unable to fully process the news. Family members need to hear the information in a very concise and direct manner. They must refrain from using language such as “we have lost your loved one” or “we regret to inform you that your daughter has passed”. Often, it’s best to be direct and forthcoming, use the victim’s name, and disclose manner of death.  

When a suicide occurs, officers have procedures to abide by.  According to the website Coroner Talk, notifications must always be done in person, never on the phone. Even if the person has committed suicide in another state or city, uniformed officers must speak to the family in person.  

 

Difficulties of Notifying Family Members  

While officers need to remain empathetic when delivering the news, they need to be direct and always stay alert as they need to ensure that the family member does not put themselves in danger or harm themselves.  For more details on how officers deliver the news with compassion visit: https://www.policechiefmagazine.org/delivering-life-altering-news-with-compassion 

We spoke with Retired Law Enforcement Officer James Smith who worked in law enforcement for over 24 years and asked him for an example of a common type of phrase was used when advising a family member of the suicide of their loved one and he said, “I sadly inform you that “Jane Doe” has fatality killed herself”. This is an example of how straight forward officers need to be.  They cannot sugar coat or use words that can be misleading to someone in shock.  

 

Below you will find additional examples of things officers would say to a family member of a suicide/death victim: 

-We regret to inform you that John Doe has died from what appears to be a suicide 

-I am afraid we have some bad news. John Doe is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head 

– We are sorry to bring the news that John Doe is dead.  They committed suicide.  

While having to speak directly to family members of victims of suicide, officers also need to be ethical and compassionate.  They are not allowed to be judgmental or insensitive.  Officers must be aware not to use words that can be misleading to someone in a state of shock.  

 

Some examples of things officers should not say to family of suicide/death victims: 

-We are sorry to inform you that (your loved one’s name) has passed 

-We are here with news that John Doe is no longer with us 

– We are here to inform you that John Doe has transitioned 

 

Taking the Correct Steps to Inform Someone of a Suicide 

Below you will find the steps and procedures officers must take when informing someone that their loved one has committed suicide:  

  1. Scene where the incident happened needs to be closed off to ensure no one other than law enforcement enters the premises. 
  2. The Scene of the suicide needs to be investigated thoroughly 
  3. Body needs to be identified correctly 
  4. 2 uniformed officers will be sent to the home where the suicide victims family reside 
  5. Using direct and plain language, the officers need to let the family know that their loved one has committed suicide.  Often, they will start the statement by saying “we have some terrible news” or something of that nature to prepare the family for what is to come 
  6. While being direct the officers should be compassionate and use phrases such as “we know this is especially difficult for you”. 
  7. Officers need to make sure the family member does not become erratic and try to harm themselves or others 
  8. Officers need to be available to answer any questions the family may have or at least guide them in the direction of where they can get more answers 
  9. Family members will want their loved one’s belongings; therefore, officers will tell them how to recover these items. 
  10. Authorities will give the family all details as to where to see the body and be available to transport the loved ones if needed.  
  11. Officers should always leave a name and number where they can be reached if the family has any questions in the future.  

 

Law enforcement officers have the difficult job of informing family members that their loved one has passed due to suicide.  

They must remain objective, unemotional, and deliver the news directly but with empathy but only once they have undoubtedly confirmed the identity of the deceased and investigated the scene of the crime. 

 

How Law Enforcement provides closure on the subject, and Resources to move forward in a healthy way 

Soon thereafter, officers will visit the next of kin to gracefully inform them of the death. Two uniformed officers will disclose the person’s status and standby to make sure the person receiving the bad news is not in any danger and/or does not hurt anyone around them.   

Officers then begin to explain details, let the family know where they can go to see the body and they must offer to drive them there. They need to give the family a contact number for them as they will likely have questions down the road.   

This is not an easy job, but it is one that is necessary and that starts the grieving process for the family. Visit https://tacticalgear.com/experts/how-to-make-a-death-notification for more information. 

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How To Handle Unattended Deaths Remotely

How To Handle Unattended Deaths Remotely

Dealing with an Unattended Death in another State

Handling the death of a family member is never easy. In this blog post, we will address a specific situation; when a family member’s death is unattended, and you don’t live in their area. This can be a stressful, confusing, and emotional situation that requires a lot of decision-making in a short period.

Dealing with an unattended death of a parent or grandparent in a different state happens a lot. Spaulding Decon sees this a lot in states like Florida and Arizona, where older adults go to retire. When you find yourself in this situation, you need qualified advice to help you handle the various obligations you’re faced with after a family member’s death.

If you reverently endured the unattended death of a close friend or family member, this blog should help you deal with it tangibly and emotionally. Regardless of if you’re remote or in town, the same advice should be followed. If you’re remote, it may be advised that you relay to a friend or family member while you do your best to be present ASAP.

This blog post is the first of a series we’re calling, Getting Life Back In Order After an Unattended Death.

 

Contact the Police

The first thing someone should do when receiving word or witnessing someone who’s passed away is call the police. Explain what you’ve found and your relationship to the deceased. Wait outside until they arrive and be ready to answer questions.

In the case of an unattended death, an autopsy and investigation is required to determine the exact cause of death and if the death was due to a criminal act, a contagious airborne illness, or rare circumstances. Autopsies are usually completed within 48 hours, where the body is released to a next of kin after a death certificate is signed. The coroner/medical examiner must authorize the release of the body before a funeral home can receive the deceased into their care.

Next of kin is defined as the closest living relative by blood, usually excluding spouses and instead focusing on children, parents, and siblings. If there is no legal document designating someone as the responsible party to make decisions after their death, the legal next-of-kin is defined as the person responsible.

 

Make Arrangements for the Body

After the autopsy, your family can begin arranging for the deceased with a funeral home to transport the remains to its facility for preparation. Coroner’s offices typically give families up to 72 hours to have the remains transported upon release of the body.

If the deceased was in the military, a fraternal group, or a religious group, contact that organization to see if they have burial benefits or conduct funeral services.

 

Hire Biohazard Cleanup Services

Preparing for a funeral, handling the deceased’s financial affairs, and notifying friends and family may feel like a full-time occupation. 80% of deaths in America happen in a hospital, but in the case of an unattended death, the home may have become a biohazard.

Let us make this very clear. In this situation, cleaning up a home after an unattended death is not something you can do with just household cleaning supplies. It can be both dangerous to yourself and anyone who inhabits the space afterward. Instead, you should immediately contact a professional remediation or biohazard company to ensure the job gets done right. Even if the home looks clean, there may be health risks beyond the scope of the human eye.

Examples of possible health risks after an unattended death, include:

  • Death Smell: The smell of a decomposing body can linger long after the deceased has been removed. Experienced technicians can help remove the odor. 
  • Bodily Fluids: Unfortunately, deaths like suicides can leave bodily fluids like blood, bile, urine, fecal matter, and vomit.
  • Airborne Pathogens: HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and MRSA can make humans and pets sick. These types of scenes can be contaminated with these harmful pathogens until they’re cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.
  • Pets: If pets are left indoors after an unattended death, they may relieve themselves on the carpet and floor. It’s sad to say this, but it’s not uncommon to find pets dead from hunger or other causes after their owner’s death.

 

Secure Certified Copies Of Death Certificates

In addition to preparing the body for burial or cremation, the funeral home is also responsible for death certificates. Obtain multiple copies of the death certificate because you’ll need them for financial institutions, insurers, and government agencies. A death certificate is required to close bank accounts, file insurance claims, collect life insurance, transfer titles, filing final tax returns, etc.

One can obtain a death certificate from the vital statistics office in the state or the funeral home you’re working with.

 

Seek Professional Counseling

We all deal with the loss of a loved one differently. If you’re having a difficult time coping with the death of a loved one, consider speaking with a grief counselor. If you live far away, you more than likely aren’t close to the rest of your family, either. Being left to cope with the emotions of a death can be frightening and traumatic.

You and your family don’t have to cope with the aftermath of an unattended death alone. Our compassionate specialists are sensitive and discreet in regards to the cleanup and restoration of the scene.

 

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, we avoid talking about unsavory things and events like unattended deaths. This leaves the majority of people dealing with unattended deaths wildly unprepared. Hopefully, this blog post, and the other blogs in our series, ​​Getting Life Back In Order After an Unattended Death, will help you or someone who needs this information.

eBook - What To Do When Police Leave

There are so many misconceptions about law enforcement’s role when it comes to crime scenes and investigations. When law enforcement is called their sole responsibility is to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and solve a crime. There is no thought whatsoever to the cleanup or restoration to your home. Learn more in this free eBook by Spaulding Decon.

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Meth Contamination: Why Are Meth Labs so Difficult to Repair?

Meth Contamination: Why Are Meth Labs so Difficult to Repair?

meth lab cleanup imageWhat do you know about meth?

Methamphetamine use is a critical issue in the United States. As of 2017, approximately 1.6 million Americans reported having used methamphetamines in the previous year.

While that number has dropped in the past few years, the use of methamphetamine remains widespread in the United States. There are severe health risks from meth; its use often results in death.

Cleaning a meth lab has many complicated components. These complications arise from various side effects that meth contamination has on a structure.

Meth labs, whether they are in buildings, vehicles, or any other structure, are an incredibly toxic environment.

The chemicals that go into creating meth are extremely dangerous. Entering a meth lab without proper assessment by law enforcement can cause severe harm, from something as mild as a cough to as dangerous as chemical burns.

If you’re left in the wake of a meth-related accident, cleaning up after this is a complicated and laborious process.

That’s where we come in.

We test for, clean, and restore meth contamination. We’re experts in the field, and we know how to handle the difficulties that arise from contaminated houses. Here’s what goes down.

The First Complication in Cleanup: Testing the Building

Why is it that cleaning a meth lab is so complicated? Well, to understand this, we go back to the previously mentioned danger of meth ingredients.

As said before, exposure to meth chemicals can cause a wide range of health problems, including coughing and nausea on the milder end to chemical burns or death on the worse end of the spectrum.

In addition to dangers caused by direct contact with meth-related chemicals, there are other potential threats. Meth labs often have traps implanted in them to prevent their drugs from being discovered.

One exciting example given by emergency responders is for light-bulbs to be filled with gasoline so that flipping on the light switch will ignite the bulb and cause an explosion.

Because such dangers need avoiding, there is a process for determining whether a building suspected of being a meth lab is an authentic lab.

Any suspected property is to be secured to prevent civilians from entering. From there, law enforcement and first responder hazmat teams investigate the building.

Once inside, they are responsible for removing toxic and hazardous materials from the premises.

However, this is only the first step if a building is previously suspected to be a meth lab. Not all former labs are so suspicious, though. People are living in houses they never knew were meth labs.

The Second Complication: Unknown Meth Contamination

Another difficulty that can arise is the possibility that you may live in a house that was once a meth lab. There are several symptoms that your home may have once been a meth lab.

Some of these symptoms are somewhat innocuous, such as yellow discoloration on walls. Frequent smoking can cause this discoloration.

Others, however, are a little more specific.

If you have breathing problems while at home, an itchy throat, or a metallic taste in your mouth, these could potentially mean you’ve seen exposure to remaining chemicals from a lab.

Furthermore, a blue discoloration on propane tank valves or fire extinguisher handles could be a sign of chemical contact. Another giveaway would be taped over or removed fire detectors.

If you suspect that your home could have once been a meth lab, you will need to have it tested immediately. You can either do this test yourself or call professionals to do it in your stead.

If you suspect your house to be a meth lab, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, if you have children, keep a close eye on things like their toys.

Frequent hand to mouth contact coupled with a child’s incomplete development make them more at risk of meth contamination. Also, bear in mind that a landfill cannot store meth-contaminated waste.

The Third Difficulty: Cleanup

Once a structure is determined to be a meth house, the actual cleanup begins. Cleanings can be more or less intense, depending on the levels of contamination found in the building.

Cleanup consists of removing all contaminated items holistically. The cleanup crew even removes the carpet, vacuuming the floor beneath it with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

Even the walls get vacuumed! Even small items like cobwebs are removed from the house once the house is clean.

After all of this, there are two stages of washing. First, hard surfaces get washed using a water detergent solution. Then, the HVAC system gets shut off, and the second round of washing commences.

Once this process is complete, all the plumbing gets flushed multiple times. This is because drug makers will often flush their supply in the toilet if they fear being discovered by the authorities.

Field screeners who are experts in their field have to evaluate the septic tank and plumbing system to discern whether there has been a contamination. Afterward, there will be septic remediation for the system.

The Final Test

The cleaning process must demonstrate that it has decreased contamination levels. So, a final test is conducted on the structure to verify this.

From here, the local government must determine if the contamination levels meet with re-occupation requirements. If not, there must be another cleaning; alternatively, the owner can consider removing the property.

We’re Here to Help

As you can see, testing and cleaning a house with meth contamination is an intense process. If you need professional services, Spaulding Decon is here for you!

Our services page gives further information on how to contact us and what we do. If you want a test done on your home, contact us today!

 

 

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