6 Guidelines for Safe Suicide Clean Up

6 Guidelines for Safe Suicide Clean Up

Dealing with the Effects of a Recent Suicide

Losing a loved one to suicide is an experience no one should have to endure. The trauma that suicide leaves is devastating and incredibly daunting. According to the CDC, suicide was a leading cause of death in the US in 2020 and affects all ages.

During traumatic moments such as these, it is unfathomable to consider that you might have to end up cleaning the remains of a loved one. Luckily, there are experts that can take this burden from the family members of the victims and help them get back to grieving and healing peacefully. 

 

Who must clean up the remains of a loved one who has committed suicide?

You would be surprised to learn that law enforcement does not clean up remains after a suicide or homicide. Then who does clean up postmortem remains, you might ask. There are professionals you can call to do this kind of daunting task, such as Spaulding Decon. Spaulding Decon are trained, equipped professionals ready to help individuals through the grieving process.

Spaulding Decon leaves the home without a trace of evidence that anything awful has happened. We take pride in giving back some of the peace that may have been lost and they are a resource you can depend on. No family member should have to pick up the remains of a loved one and Spaulding Decon wants to alleviate that grief by helping with the cleanup.

 

Cleaning up Hazardous Materials due to Decomposition

As if the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide was not difficult enough, the last thing someone should have to consider are the hazards that come with cleaning up the scene of the incident. The body begins to break down then blood, tissue, and organs begin to liquify. The condition of the body depends on the state of postmortem and environmental conditions.

Cleaning biohazard (hazardous bodily fluids) requires precision and multiple safety measures. Here are some guidelines one must follow to clean up bodily fluids safely.

 

The 6-Guidelines for Safe Cleanup of a Suicide

First and foremost, contact authorities. Law enforcement needs to be dispatched to the scene of the incident prior to anything being touched, cleaned, or examined. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that because a suicide is not a natural cause of death, authorities do need to be contacted immediately as they will do a thorough investigation and determine if there was any foul play. You can learn more about the reasons authorities are contacted after a suicide on https://afsp.org/practical-information-for-immediately-after-a-loss.

Wearing protective gear is critical as it can keep you safe from becoming contaminated with any blood related illnesses, such as HIV, Hepatitis or any others that are transmitted through contact with blood. One should don disposable gloves, safety shoes, protective goggles, and a coverall suit to protect the clothing, and a respirator. Taking the proper precautions is critical. Therefore, hiring professionals, such as Spaulding Decon, to do the job is the best course of action.

Disposal of biohazard material is a step you must not waiver on as you cannot dispose of biohazard materials in just any trash bag or the ordinary garbage containers. Using biohazard waste bags and containers will ensure the waste material does not leak. Mark your bio bag with key words such as BIOHAZARD to let others know the material inside is contaminated.

It is important to use the right cleaning agents for suicide clean up. Once the body matter has been collected and put into disposable biohazard bags, you can begin cleaning the scene. Make sure you are using a safe cleaning solution that is not mixed with other cleaning chemicals. Make sure you read and follow the directions on the label. Do not forget to wear your respirator during this process. Suicide clean up companies like Spaulding Decon take care of waste collection, disposal, and are extremely thorough with clean up. They even remove carpets, tile, and any surface where blood or fluids have seeped through.

Decontaminating supplies and materials used to clean up the scene is a critical step. Anything used to clean the scene of the suicide or incident including supplies, materials, and equipment needs to be decontaminated post-usage. Mops, brooms, rags, sponges, scrubbing brushes, and all material used to clean must be sanitized and left to air dry so that the cleaning solution can fully do its job.

Ensure you were not exposed to biohazardous material and if you were, immediately seek medical attention. If you encounter blood from the scene or other biohazard fluids, you will want to wash the areas with soap and water immediately and go to a doctor as you could have come into contact with bacteria and other contaminated material present in blood and biohazards.

 

Dealing with Traumatic Events and Deaths

Once all your 6 steps have been completed, make sure you set aside some time to grieve and to heal. Self-care is especially important, and grief takes time. Visit afsp.org/loss for steps on how to grieve suicide.  

Experiencing suicide is a traumatic experience. Cleaning the scene is never something a grieving family member should have to do. Spaulding Decon cleans suicides and biohazard. They clean with care and empathy.

Spaulding Decon leaves the property in the very condition it was prior to the suicide and sometimes, even better than it was before. They are here to help you during your challenging time. Spaulding Decon are the last responders. Learn more about local suicide clean up services.  

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  

eBook - What To Do When Police Leave

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Unattended Death Biohazard Problems and Considerations

Unattended Death Biohazard Problems and Considerations

Unattended Death Biohazard Problems and Considerations

If somebody dies at home unexpectedly and they’re alone, it is called an unattended death. Typically, the body isn’t found for days, weeks, or months. At the end of the significant emotional toll left by an unattended death on the departed’s loved one, there’s the crushing reality that life still has to move on. 

Common causes of unattended deaths include old age, suicide, and homicide. The cause of death can determine what the scene will look like and how a biohazard expert would clean it. For example, the more traumatic the death, more bodily fluid may be present at the crime scene. This part of the guide will discuss the different biohazard problems when cleaning up an unattended death.

 

The Decomposition Process

Decomposition is defined as reducing the body of former living matter into simpler forms of matter. Decomposition begins when a person dies with internal organs decomposing 24-78 hours after death. If a body is not embalmed shortly after that, significant health hazards can present themselves in the following days.

The decomposition speed depends on the cause of death, their weight, and the environment. In most cases of an unattended death, the deceased is inside a home, shielded from the outside elements. However, indoors may not be enough to stall the decomposition process in warmer climates.

There are three main stages of decomposition:

  • Autolysis: Autolysis or self-digestion happens because of a lack of oxygen and excess carbon dioxide. This causes the cells to become stressed and the intracellular pH levels to drop. Low pH means an acidic environment, which causes the cell membranes to rupture and release enzymes that digest the cell from the inside out.
  • Bloat: 3-5 days after death, the body starts to bloat, and blood-containing foam leaks from the mouth and nose. In this stage, the body leaks smelly odors called “putrefaction”. People can now smell the deceased even if they’re not visible.
  • Active Decay: During the third stage of decomposition, the fat and muscles have reduced to liquid and the skin has started to blacken. Bacteria, fungi, and protozoa attack the dead tissue. The development of maggots and insects increases as they remove the remaining soft tissue.

 

The fourth stage of decomposition is skeletonization, which leaves behind nothing but a skeleton. Decomposition is a natural process, but cleaning up the area where a body is decomposing is not easy.

We’ll now discuss the many health risks when a body decomposes.

 

Blood borne Pathogens & Diseases

The first risk you need to look out for in the decomposition process is bodily fluid spillage carrying blood borne pathogens and diseases. Regardless of if you knew the deceased well, they may be unknowingly infected. For this reason, it’s important to treat every scene as a potential biohazard. 

HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and MRSA are the most significant hazards. These pathogens can survive in the bodily fluids days after the person has died and can stay in carpets, bedding, and other surfaces long after the body have been removed. 

Because of the danger, OHSA and the EPA have specific regulations for people who may interact with blood borne pathogens in the workplace. Biohazard companies have exposure plans that protect their employees and anyone who may visit the hazardous area. Other potentially dangerous fluids include semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, and decomposed fat and tissue. 

 

Maggots

During the 2nd stage of human decomposition, called bloat, processes in the body begin to attract flies, maggots, and other tissue-eating insects, which begin to lay eggs. This stage begins no more than 72 hours after death under normal circumstances. Carrion flies locate dead bodies even from the most minute traces of odor.

This can lead to a fly and maggot infestation in the household. Worse, these ugly creatures can remain after the removal of the body. Percutaneous injury and mucous membrane splashes are risks that medical professionals know when assessing a dead body.

 

Odors

Many odors permeate when we encounter unattended deaths. Obviously, the body will emit odors, but we’ll also discover odors from animals, food, and waste. It’s also not uncommon for hoarders to be isolated from outside interaction, meaning their deaths, unfortunately, go unnoticed. Odors can migrate through the flooring, sub-flooring, and even into the ductwork meaning the point of origin isn’t the only location that needs to be cleaned.

While odors are unpleasant, it’s essential to go beyond odor removal and remove all remnants of the causes of bad odors like urine, fecal matter, bile, etc. Just because you don’t see or smell it doesn’t mean it can’t have harmful effects on your health.

 

Dead Pets Or Pet Mess

If pets are left indoors alone after their owner’s death, they may relieve themselves on carpets, furniture, and beds. Like odors, pet urine and feces can soak through the sub-flooring, making cleanup difficult. If the unattended death goes weeks without discovery, the pet may pass away and leave more cleanup. We’ve done multiple unattended death jobs in which we discover a pet was forced to consume its owner to survive. 

 

Cleaning The Site

Cleaning the site of an unattended death is challenging because of the risk of blood borne pathogens, maggots, odors, and pets. You should never attempt to clean the site without the help of a professional decontamination company. A company like Spaulding Decon can assist in cleaning up hazardous areas and consult on what items need to be thrown away.

The first step after an unattended death is cleaning up the physical mess and dangerous biohazards that have been left behind, including removing blood, bodily fluids, and other bodily materials. The 2nd step is sanitization, which kills any bacteria, viruses, and other organisms with medical-grade chemicals. Usually, these first two steps aren’t enough to remove the odors, so deodorization is necessary. The last step is remediation, underlying the importance of restoring a home to its previous condition.

 

Final Thoughts

Sadly, the cleanup of an unattended death is up to the family, meaning you’re unlikely to receive any assistance from the coroner’s office, hospital, or anywhere else. Nobody should have to relive the loss of a loved one because they have to clean up their death site. Luckily, a decontamination company can help. If you discover an unattended death, the first thing you should do is leave the immediate area and call 911.

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What to Say to a Family who has Lost a Loved One to Suicide

What to Say to a Family who has Lost a Loved One to Suicide

Speaking to a Family that’s been affected by a Suicide

Losing someone to suicide is a traumatic experience that takes time to grieve and process. It can be overwhelming and a bit scary to approach a friend who is grieving the loss of someone who committed suicide as you may fear you will say the wrong things.

Truth is, most of the time when someone has lost a loved one to suicide, they really just want to know they have someone there they can lean on. Letting them know you are sorry this happened, you are here for them, express any concerns you may have about their emotional state, be sincere in your delivery and most important listen more than you speak. Sometimes someone just needs to be held and told that they are not alone.

 

Tips on First Communication

Below you can find some examples of things you can say to a friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide:

  • I am so sorry for your loss.
  • I know you are heartbroken, but please know you are not alone.
  • I am here for you.

Sometimes just embracing that person, giving them a hug, or allowing them to cry on your shoulder is more than enough.Know it is comforting at times just to sit quietly with someone.

Bring them some food. Most people who are grieving can’t seem to find the motivation to eat or to prepare food. Once they are ready to speak about the suicide, listen empathetically and if you can relate to their experience, share it with them. Do NOT however, minimize or compare their experience with yours.

It’s also good to honor the victim’s life in conversation, by taking about how great they were or fond memories.

 

Things you should avoid saying to a friend who has lost a loved one to suicide:

It is important to be empathetic when speaking to a friend who has lost a loved one to suicide. What you don’t say to them is equally as important as what you do say. Being physically and emotionally available for your friend is showing support and showing you care.

Be careful not to be judgmental when sharing your thoughts about the incident. If your thoughts are not supportive, simply refrain from sharing them to your grieving friend. Here, Police Chief Magazine and SPRC share tips on speaking with anyone affected by a recent suicide.

 

Checking In and Warning Signs to watch for

Part of supporting a friend who has lost a loved one to suicide is to watch out for red flags or signs of trouble. There isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone grieves in their own way; however, it is important that they find support if they are in a dark space for far too long. It is helpful for them to seek medical help or help from a mental health provider if you find that your friend is experiencing any of the examples below:

  • If your friend is obsessed or only focused on speaking about the death
  • If you suspect that your friend is so depressed that they may harm themselves
  • If you notice that your friend is losing drastic weight
  • If you notice that your friend is self-medicating, using drugs or alcohol to cope.
  • If your friend becomes withdrawn for a long time
  • If your friend seems angry or bitter for a long time.
  • If you feel your friend begins to neglect themselves by not doing things such as showering, getting out of bed, leaving the house
  • If your friend seems extremely depressed or unable to find joy in things that brought joy before

If you suspect your friend is experiencing any of the symptoms or behaviors listed above, please visit https://www.sprc.org/livedexperience/tool/resources-survivors-suicide-loss for additional resources.You can also visit https://cmhc.utexas.edu/bethatone/friendscopingsuicide.html for more warning signs to look out for.

 

How Law Enforcement and First Responders notify family members of suicide victims

Notifying family of suicide victims is a very difficult job. Being notified that someone you love is now deceased is quite the traumatic experience. It is a moment in time that will remain in their minds forever. Law enforcement officers as well as other First Responders often are the people tasked with this difficult job.

Officers or First Responders need to notify family members of the deceased as soon as they learn about the incident. Prior to notifying the families, they need to confirm that the victim is who they suspect. Often this is done through fingerprints, dental records, or even by finding identification and documentation belonging to the deceased.

After identifying the person deceased, the officers need to speak to any possible witnesses or neighbors and gather as much information about the scene of the suicide as possible. It is imperative that they are clear on the details of the scene so that they can provide the family with accurate information.

Once the person is identified and they have gathered all the details at the scene, officers plan accordingly. They decide who will be the officer to speak to the family. Once they arrive, they need to confirm that the person they are speaking to is the correct person as the next of kin should be the person to receive the news first and foremost. They will then disclose all details learned at the scene.

These notifications are done in person and are typically done in the presence of a second officer. Typically, the investigative officer is the person to relay the message to the family as they know most of the details about the scene.

 

Speaking with the Families of those affected by a Suicide

When speaking to family members of the deceased, officers need to be compassionate and respectful, they cannot be emotional or sugar coat the incident as most family members go into shock and aren’t able to absorb all that is being brought to their attention.

Their delivery is short and to the point. At times, they do need to repeat their statement as the family may be too distraught to process the news. Law enforcement will allow family a few minutes to compose themselves and they will possibly repeat the news if needed. Additionally, they need to be vigilant of the family’s reaction as they can be a danger to themselves or faint in some cases. They speak candidly and use words such as “dead or “deceased”. It’s important that they speak in a very direct manner so that they are not misunderstood.

Once the family member of the suicide victim processes the information, then law enforcement begins to walk them through the details at the scene of the suicide. If the family asks questions the officers do not have answers to, they need to let the family know they will investigate it. They should provide the family with a contact number in case the family needs to reach out with more questions in the future. For more information, please visit https://tacticalgear.com/experts/how-to-make-a-death-notification.

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How to Handle a Suicide on your Property

How to Handle a Suicide on your Property

Coming into the scene of a suicide can be quite traumatic for anyone, especially family members of the deceased.

If someone commits suicide on your property or another location, you will need to clean up the biohazard or remains as law enforcement does not do this.  First you will need to call law enforcement to perform a thorough investigation. Once this is complete you should consider hiring biohazard experts as cleaning remains is an extensive job.

This requires having safety protective gear, the right chemicals and equipment to clean thoroughly and experts to dispose of decomposition as you cannot just dump it in the trash.

Once this is done you will need to decontaminate all items used during cleaning. Hiring experts, such as Spaulding Decon is the best course of action as they handle the entire process for you so that you can grieve peacefully and without additional stress.

If you need to handle a clean up yourself, please visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/factsheets/pep_book.pdf for additional safety guidelines.

 

What is a biohazard or suicide cleanup?

Biohazard or suicide cleanup – is the act of having to safely clean biohazardous waste.

This process requires precision, safety measures, and decontamination.  Suicide cleanup is specific to cleaning the aftermath of a suicide. Biohazardous wastes can fall under certain categories: infectious, radioactive, flammable, toxic, corrosive, reactive.

 

Examples of biohazard waste:

  • Infectious: (blood, tissues, needles, anything with body fluids).
  • Radioactive: (any waste that contains radioactive waste such as Uranium and Thorium).
  • Flammable: (I.e., Alcohols, ether, acetone, gasoline).
  • Toxic: lead in water, chemicals from landfills, exhausts from cars.
  • Corrosive: include but are not limited to Glycolic Acid, Sulfuric Acid, and Hydrogen Peroxide.
  • Reactive: explosives, peroxides and really anything that has a component that could cause an explosion.

 

What should you do if someone has died by suicide, or if there was an unattended death in your property?

  1. Call the police.
  2. Decide whether you are going to hire an expert to do the cleanup.
  3. If you are going to do the cleanup yourself, make sure you have protective gear and cleaning agents specific for cleaning biohazard (see examples above). Ensure you have the proper disposal bags for biohazard and make sure you label and dispose accordingly (contact your local waste company). For more information visit https://www.vumc.org/safety/waste/biological-waste-guide
  4. Once you have completed your cleanup make sure you decontaminate the supplies you used for the cleanup. If you used a broom, mop, towels, anything that may have come into contact with the biohazardous material, needs to be decontaminated.
  5. If you encounter biohazardous material, seek medical attention right away.
  6. Seek help if you become depressed or struggle with grief due to suicide. The Suicide Prevention Hotline has resources that can help. Visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/help-yourself/loss-survivors

 

Do I have to report a suicide or unattended death?

Make sure you contact the authorities as they will want to do a thorough investigation to rule out foul play. Authorities will show up to the scene and let you know when and if you are able to enter the scene but only upon receiving instruction to do so.

Additionally, you will want to Inform the victim’s family as they may have pertinent information and might be able to shed some light on the situation for authorities or provide additional information.

 

Should you hire someone to do the work for you?

There are experts trained in removing biohazardous waste. They will handle everything for you. Whether it be carpet removal, cleaning, tile removal, disposal, odor elimination, and even insurance claims. Visit spauldingdecon.com and our Biohazard Cleaning page to learn more about our services. The benefit of hiring experts is that you will not have to worry about encountering biohazard material, as it can be dangerous and detrimental to your health.

 

Do homeowner’s insurance policies cover suicide cleaning?

Most homeowners’ insurance policies will cover the costs of cleaning and decontaminating biohazard that resulted from a suicide in that property. Companies like Spaulding Decon will handle the claims for you so that you can grieve peacefully.

 

What is the cost for biohazard cleanup?

Biohazard cleaning costs vary depending on the severity of the cleanup. In some cases, cleaners will have to remove tile, carpets, or sheet rock, and this would cost more than just a plain cleanup without biohazard that has seeped through the surfaces.

Some scenes contain less blood than others and this keeps costs lower. Keep in mind that most homeowners’ insurance policies cover the cost of suicide cleanup, which is why it is smart to contact a professional such as Spaulding Decon to the leg work for you.

Visit https://www.liveoakagency.com/blog/crazy-things-your-home-insurance-probably-covers to learn more.

 

Are there suicide cleaning guidelines I can follow?

Yes, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/factsheets/pep_book.pdf for more in-depth information.

If you find yourself in a position where someone has died by suicide and you are left to clean it, you will be coming into direct contact with biohazard. Bodily fluids such as blood and all other organ tissues are considered biohazard and can be dangerous as there are many infectious diseases that are transmittable by blood.

The cleaning process is extensive and grueling as you may find yourself having to remove carpets, tile, or even dry wall. You need to make sure you protect yourself with protective gear, have the correct biohazard cleaning materials and chemicals, have bio waste bags that do not leak, and dispose of them in a location designated by your county.

Finally, you need to make sure you are following all biohazard waste guidelines. Therefore, we strongly recommend hiring a professional company such as Spaulding Decon, who has years of experience in cleaning biohazardous content. Spaulding Decon even files your insurance claim for you so that you do not have to deal with that aspect of the process.

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Bed Bug Control: How Hotels Can Prevent and Track the Spread of Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Control: How Hotels Can Prevent and Track the Spread of Bed Bugs

Prevention of Bed Bugs in Hotels: Help Me! 

The prevention of bed bugs in your hotel begins with education. Knowing how to identify the problem and whom to contact when a bed bug situation arises are the smartest choices you can make when it comes to preventing bed bugs at your hotel. 

Catching your infestation early is critical. You may not be able to control when a bed bug infestation will happen in your hotel, but you can control how big it gets before it’s eradicated. 

 

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs look like flat ladybugs. Sometimes they’ll look somewhat purple and red instead of brown; it just depends on if they’ve fed or not. Their eggs are tiny and not easily detected by the human eye as they’re white. If you know what you’re looking for though, you’ll see them. 

Juveniles may be your only sign of bed bugs as well, so look out for bugs that look like poppy seeds.  

Sometimes other bugs are confused with bed bugs and concerned customers notify staff. That’s why it’s imperative that you and all your employees know how to correctly identify a wayward insect from a bed bug.  

 


How Do I Prevent Bed Bugs in My Hotel?

Following these steps will help you prevent bed bugs at your hotel: 

  • Track where infestations keep happening. 
  • Train your staff to identify bed bugs. 
  • Perform regular inspections of each room. 
  • Clean linens properly after every customer.  
  • Vacuuming needs to be done properly. 

 

Tracking Bed Bug Infestation Locations in Your Hotel 

You’ll want to make sure that you’re properly documenting where infestations happen in your hotel. Details like where they were spotted, how bad the infestation was before it was stopped, and if any common areas were affected like sofas or waiting rooms. 

This will help ensure that professionals will be able to assist you more efficiently every time a bed bug is noticed.  

 

Your Hotel Cleaning Staff Needs Bed Bug Training

Training the people that are in the room most often is your primary line of defense. Make sure they know what to look for while they’re changing sheets, collecting towels, straightening up, and wiping down surfaces. 

It only takes one customer for a bed bug infestation to take hold, so the earlier it’s caught, the earlier you can call a professional crew in to get the job done. Avoiding a loss in revenue in the long term is the goal, so taking the time to train your staff on bed bugs is worth the investment.  

 

Regular Room Inspections for Bed Bugs 

All rugs and other tapestries in the room need to be inspected regularly to make sure that there are no signs of bed bugs in the room. Appliances like the phone, lamps, and furniture will need to be moved around during this inspection. 

Make sure to check couch cushions, mattresses, box springs, mattress covers, and spare blankets for any signs of bugs. If you suspect an infestation, treat it as an infestation by seeking professional help immediately.  

Look in more uncommon places as well like where the carpeting meets the baseboard, curtains, or around electrical outlets.  

 

 

What To Look for During a Room Inspection for Bed Bugs

Keep a lookout for their tiny white eggs, dark spots, little red stains, and their skins. Rubbing a wet rag over the spots and stains mentioned will smear if the coloration was caused by a bed bug. They smear because their fecal matter is made of clotted blood.

You’ll probably see the above before you spot an actual bug. Putting your eyes on a live bug should always be immediate confirmation that you need to get a professional in there ASAP.  

 

All Linens Need to Be Cleaned Thoroughly Between Hotel Guests 

They’re called bed bugs for a reason, and that’s because they like to hang out in the crevices in and around the bed so they can easily feed at night. All linens on the bed and used towels need to be properly washed and dried between every customer. 

Washing the laundry in hot water for a minimum of 30 minutes is needed, followed directly by a high heat dry cycle for at least another 30 minutes. You can outsource this task to a professional crew so it can be done right.  

Keep the housecleaner’s cart free of bed bugs too by washing the linen bags every day with the same precautions as you do with the laundry. Make sure your staff knows to keep clean fabrics away from those that are soiled to help eliminate cross-contamination.  

 

Proper Vacuuming and Bed Bugs at Your Hotel

Not only do the nooks and crannies in your hotel need an inspection, but they also need a regular thorough vacuum. Seams of chairs and sofas, around the box spring, the headboard, behind the tv, and behind and under all furniture that’s moved for the occasion need vacuuming regularly. 

The vacuums need to be quickly inspected between rooms and the bag removed before entering another area of the hotel. Check the bristles for any signs of bugs and quickly dispose of the used vacuum bag outside in its own plastic bag.  

 

Who Can Help Me with a Bed Bug Infestation in My Hotel? 

The term fleabag joint is not something you want to apply to your hotel.  

 Remember, you don’t have to notify your guests of a bed bug infestation. That’s why it’s best to catch it before a customer notices and makes a complaint, which can ruin your reputation. Just because bed bugs don’t spread disease doesn’t mean they aren’t disgusting pests.  

 While you might be able to save the customer experience with things like room upgrades and free food, calling in trained professionals that know how to eradicate pests from your hotel is paramount to stopping the infestation early.  

 If your hotel business is dealing with bed bugs, call in a company that knows how to deal with commercial decontamination and extermination. We’ll be there within 3 hours to eliminate your problem with your confidentiality in mind.

 

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Level 5 Hoarding Explained

Level 5 Hoarding Explained


The Cause and Remedies of Extreme Hoarding Situations

Hoarding is a serious disorder that entails the obsessive accumulation of personal belongings, animals, or trash. The hoarder is overcome by a perceived need to keep excess things.

Life-altering consequences like financial instability and legal intervention can result if a hoarding situation continues unchecked. Hoarders strain their support network with these issues because the consequences have a ripple effect. The National Study on Compulsive Disorganization created a scale to help classify hoarding behavior.

The stages of hoarding progress from level 1 through 5, with 5 being the most extreme hoarding situation possible.  

 

What is a stage 5 hoarding situation?

A stage 5 hoarding situation means that there are imminent fire hazards, entire sections of the house are inaccessible, there is no electricity or running water, and there is an accumulation of human feces. This compounds the issues found in the lower stages of hoarding, such as unusable rooms and structural damage. Let’s look at some of the defining characteristics of stage 5 hoarding. 

 

Entire Parts of the Hoarder’s Residence are Inaccessible 

The hoarder has accumulated so much stuff that most of the house is inaccessible. Objects will be piled up to the ceiling in all rooms in the house. Stairwells, attics, and basements will be filled with objects. Hallways are rendered useless because they’re full of hoarded stuff, and bathrooms, kitchens, and sheds are too full to enter.  

The hoarder will usually have one pathway on top of the hoard that goes to an area that they’ve nested. Usually, this nest is just a crevice in which their body fits to lie down without any more space for other activities. Food consumption, cooking, bathing, and using the restroom are all done from this one designated area.  

 

Severe Structural Damage to the Hoarded Home 

There is severe structural damage caused by the hoard. Repairs that needed to be done in the past that were inaccessible or unnoticed because of the excessive accumulation of belongings have now hit a critical point. The structural damage is widespread. The floor may be caving in across an entire room or section of the house, and the roof will most likely be greatly compromised.

Extensive water damage will exist on both the ceilings and the walls. Multiple windows may be busted. Window seals and window frames will be rotting or disintegrated from water damage. Pipes will have burst and flooded areas like the basement without any objects being removed. 

The hoarder will still find value in the things stacked up that are completely ruined by the elements getting into the structure. They will be so used to the consequences of dilapidation that it will take convincing to sway them into seeing the direness of the situation. 

Entire walls will have crumbled in because of mold damage. The weight of the hoard pressing on the drywall will have caused beam exposure. Places, like where the drywall has now crumbled to create a hole, are filled with hoarded items. 

 

Major Fire Hazards Throughout the Hoarder’s House 

The entire hoarded house is an extreme fire hazard. There is a huge amount of flammable material in the house, and there are no fire exits. The density of the hoard presents a huge fire load, which refers to the ability of a structure to fuel itself while burning. All windows, exits, stairwells, and doors are not easily accessible should an emergency happen. 

Level 5 hoarders do not recognize the extensive fire danger. They may smoke, burn incense, light candles, and cook on propane stoves amid the hoard creating an imminent danger. Should they lose control of anything burning in the house, it will become an inescapable inferno. 

All of these signs should be addressed before a fire hazard, or air / biohazard toxins are able to take over the space.

Family members often take notice first in Stage 2, and Stage 3 of Hoarding Disorder.

 

No Electricity or Running Water Due to Neglect 

Because the hoard is so big that it blocks access to places that need repair, the hoarded house has fallen into disrepair. Toilets do not work, sinks do not work, and electrical wiring and infrastructure around the house is compromised. 

Often, a stage 5 hoarder will spend so much on the continued accumulation of stuff that they cannot pay their bills and their services have been shut off. They will live for years without utilities if it means they can keep their hoard.

They’ve many times built a relationship with their belongings in a way that makes them feel attached to every last object. Clutter and boxes that serve no future purpose will be kept and start the progression towards higher levels of hoarding if left unchecked.

 

An Accumulation of Human and Animal Feces in the Hoarded Home 

Rodents and other pests will have urinated and defecated all over every part of the home. Almost all objects will be contaminated with excessive urine and feces. Cockroaches and other insects have thriving communities within the hoard.  

Because toilets don’t flush and there’s no place to put garbage, the home will fill up with human and animal feces. Pets will relieve themselves wherever they see fit among the hoard because there isn’t a space designated for defecation.  

Unfortunately, there are times in extreme hoarding homes where excrement and all sorts of waste will accumulate in bottles or be pooled in the backyard. A stage 5 hoarder may use a bucket when nature calls so they can carry their waste into the backyard and dump it out into a highly contaminated area that they’ve designated for dumping out waste.

Waste may be collected in jugs and piled into a specific area of the house like a bedroom.  

Some hoarders feel an attachment to their excrement and begin hoarding it along with possessions and trash. This is the most extreme kind of hoarding, even in stage 5, and needs a professional decontamination crew to aid in cleanup.  

 

The Effects of Stage 5 Hoarding 

Often, a home that has reached level 5 will have to be completely gutted if not condemned due to the damage under the hoard from neglect. The hoarder themselves will be in complete denial about the severity of the situation and will be combative during the clean-up effort. This is where professionals need to step in.  

At Spaulding Decon, we can provide the biohazard remediation professionals that you’ll need to tackle the immense hoarding situation with which you are confronted. Our teams will create a custom cleanup plan while working in conjunction with any mental health professionals that are also involved with the hoarder.

We help ensure that your loved one will have access to the resources they need to unbury themselves from their hoard.

Find a Hoarding Cleanup team nearest you: Spaulding Decon Locations

Free Ebook – Dealing with Hoarding Around You

Learn from our 15+ Years Experience with Hoarding Assistance. Hoarding is destructive to your property values as well as theirs. There are many ways to go about working with a harder to get them to clean up the mess. In this free eBook download, Spaulding Decon teaches you lessons learned from dealing with Hoarding Cleanup and the psychology behind hoarding disorders.

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spaulding decon logo

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

 

               

   navoba business     Entrepreneur Franchise 500 Top Low-Cost Franchise 2021

 

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