Crime scene cleanup is quite a challenging task, and it should be done by professionals, with the utmost attention to detail. A crime scene is a rather dangerous environment as biohazards may be present, including pathogens, blood, and bodily fluids.
If you’re looking to hire a crime scene cleanup company, there are a couple of things you should pay attention to or else you risk hiring someone who’s unprofessional and unaware of the potential dangers.
We have made a list of tips and tricks you can refer to when looking for a cleanup company, and they are as follows:
Look For a Certified Company with a Good Reputation
In today’s world, reputation is everything. There are countless companies out there that have had the potential to rise up and become relevant in the industry, but the vast majority of those businesses are buried deep beneath the surface because they didn’t have what it takes to become a grade-A business.
The first thing you should ask for is the certificate to perform the required cleanup. Crime scene cleaners should be highly-trained in all aspects of cleanup jobs, including biohazard removal and transport, water damage mitigation, smoke mitigation, and more. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t even consider hiring companies that can’t provide the aforementioned certificates.
Another thing you should pay attention to is whether a company prioritizes safety. If you notice that they aren’t prioritizing safety, it’s a good idea to avoid doing business with them.
References and Experience are Essential
Even though you might stumble upon a company that has a relatively good reputation, that doesn’t mean they are the best choice. Before you decide to hire a cleanup company, make sure they have good recommendations and are referenced by other clients. Apart from that, you should also ask the following questions:
- How long have they been in the business
- How many crime scenes have they cleaned up
- Do they have professional training in trauma cleanup
- Have they been recommended by previous clients
While these are the four most important questions you should ask before hiring a company, there are other things you should pay attention to such as the level of professionalism, tidiness, and more.
Ask About Their Employee Training Program
There’s nothing wrong in questioning a company’s employee training program. In fact, we would highly recommend you to do that both because you’re entitled to it and more importantly – because it really matters.
A well-experienced technician should:
- Have extensive training in crime scene cleanup
- Be well-trained to handle biohazard materials as well as transport them in a safe manner
- Have knowledge of what solutions and disinfectants are appropriate under various circumstances
- Have experience in cleaning up after law enforcement agencies are done with the scene, leaving behind hazardous materials such as pepper spray, fingerprint powder, tear gas, etc.
Ask About the Price and What it Covers
Some cleanup companies tend to willfully ignore the lack of services they provide, so it’s on you to conduct thorough research rather than blindly trust a corporate entity. In other words, be sure to go through each and every service they offer and see whether they meet your expectations. In case you can’t find an answer to some of your questions, don’t hesitate to contact the company in question and ask them for clarification.
Another question you ought to ask is how much does it cost and what kind of services is included in the price. So, for example, some companies don’t include homicide cleanup as a part of their services, meaning you either have to pay extra or simply can’t count on that particular service. As you can assume, this can cause some serious issues, so the best course of action is to ask a lot of questions before you decide whether to hire a particular cleanup company or not.
What are the Differences Between Crime, Death, and Trauma Cleanup?
Many people think that “cleanup” entails all of the three aforementioned categories, but that’s not the case. There are a couple of significant differences between death, trauma, and crime cleanup. The ones that stand out are as follows:
Trauma cleanup usually refers to a service that covers biohazard cleanup, fingerprint dust cleanup but does not necessarily mean death was involved. Cleanup after an attempted suicide would fall into this category because tissue, blood, and bodily fluids were involved, but with no fatal outcomes.
Death scene cleanup is a service that includes the removal of biological materials in cases where death has occurred, but may or may not involve a crime.
Are These Services Covered by Insurance?
Some insurance companies do offer coverage when it comes to cleanup services, but it’s not something that’s usually covered by default. In fact, chances are your insurance company does not cover these types of services, and the responsibility consequently falls on you. In these cases, we would strongly recommend that you try and find a government program that offers help to victims of violent crimes.
Bear in mind; these insurance benefits can vary, depending on your state.
Ask For a Free Estimate
Every crime scene cleanup company that follows the industry standards will offer you a free estimate. It’s good business practice, and it also contributes to the company’s reputation. Now, this doesn’t mean that companies that ask for a fee are bad per se, but it’s certainly bad business practice, which is why the vast majority of reputable companies will offer a free estimate.
List of Do’s and Don’ts
Now that we’ve covered some of the most important questions you should ask before hiring a company, it’s time to cover the do’s and don’ts.
Here’s a simplified list of things you should and shouldn’t do:
- Do request certification. As we’ve mentioned, a certified crew is guaranteed to work efficiently, effectively, and professionally.
- Do conduct extensive research before you make the final decision. Don’t opt for the first company you stumble upon. Be sure to check their services, prices, and of course – qualifications.
- If the cleanup is being done in your home, stay somewhere else. On the same note, if your office is in question, we would recommend working from home as long as cleanup is underway.
- If you’re struggling to find a company that meets your requirements, don’t hesitate to ask the police for advice. Law enforcement officers usually work closely with cleanup companies, so they have a good idea which ones are worth hiring.
- Don’t act like you’re the boss and don’t treat the cleanup crew like they are maids. Cleanup crews consist of certified professionals who know exactly what they are doing, and they don’t need someone to tell them what to do and how to do it. Be respectful and let the professionals do their work.
- Don’t hire regular cleaning companies that aren’t specialized to handle hazardous waste. Many people opt to hire a regular cleaning company without being aware of the potential dangers that come with improper handling of biohazard waste. If you’re looking to cleanup blood and bodily fluids, go with specialized companies.
- Don’t do it yourself. No matter how easy it may look, it’s always better to leave the cleanup process to experienced professionals. You might end up in a seemingly clean environment, but it’s never clean enough without specialized equipment and people who are certified to deal with potentially dangerous waste.
- Don’t pick a company that does cleaning on the side. As we’ve mentioned, certificates and specialization are of utmost importance, so make sure you’re choosing a company that has an already established reputation in this industry.
Finding a proper cleanup company can be a tough challenge if you don’t know what to look for. However, as long as you make sure to cover some basic questions and follow some of our guidelines, you should be fine. As you already know, the most important things you should look for are experience, reputation, and professionalism.
Don’t hesitate to narrow your search to three or four companies and make a list of pros and cons for each one of them. This way, you can easily figure out whether they meet your requirements or are simply not worth hiring. On top of that, always go with companies that specialize in crime scene cleanup rather than opting for seemingly more affordable solutions, because those are never worth both the money and effort.
If you would like to know more about our industry, company, and things we can do for you, read our other articles! If you’re struggling to find a cleanup company, give us a call, and we’ll gladly help!