Have you ever wondered what happens after a violent crime, a suicide, or an unattended death? Many times there is a sigificant amount of cleaning to do, usually involving body tissues and fluids. The job of cleaning up a crime scene is known as CTS Decon (Crime and Trauma Scene Decontamination). It requires the use of specialized procedures and knowledge, and requires employees dedicated to doing the job correctly, according to best practices and the law. Clean Earth Restorations is one of the few companies in San Diego that provides expert CTS Decon services.
CTS Decon is not a career that everyone can handle. There is a high amount of potential emotional stress involved with working in a crime scene, and it involves health risks not inherent in most careers. It requires tact and empathy as well.
For our readers who are curious about the job, we’ve pulled together some articles, interviews and Q&As with people who get their hands into the blood, sweat and tears (literally) of biohazard clean up. (Please be warned that these links contain graphic descriptions of the work, and that some public comments in the Q&As are off-color – Clean Earth Restorations is not affiliated with the people or organizations mentioned in the articles, but we feel the articles offer some valuable insights into the work.)
The Daily Life of a Crime Scene Cleaner (Business Insider):
A 2013 synopsis of a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with a crime scene cleaner. Here is one of the questions:
Q: Why would you do this job? (Question from noargumenthere)
A: Lotsofshi’s answer: “I’d have to say the challenge and a fascination with the extraordinary. Also, helping grieving families in their darkest hour is very rewarding as well.”
Read the whole article here.
I’m a 26 Year Old Female Who Works in CTS Decon (Reddit, 2011):
An excerpt of the Q&A feed:
Here are some answers to popular questions.
1) I make between 60 and 70 grand a year. I don’t want to give an exact figure.
2) I specialize in bodily fluids/ biohazardous fluids. Mainly blood, semen, urine, fecal matter, and body splatter (brain, decomp).
3) Yes I work in Missouri and Illinois. We don’t market to the public and aren’t in the phone book. We work mainly with law enforcement and they give our information to families for smaller crime scenes.
4) I do not use the same chemicals to clean my own home that I use for my jobs.
5) I am the only female at my job.
6) When animals are found during a cleanup we clean them off as much as we can with non toxic cleaner and transport them to shelters. I actually have a pit bull (Xavier) that I found at a crime scene and adopted.
Read the rest of the feed here.
A Career in the Aftermath Crime Scene Cleanup Industry: A Female Supervisor’s Perspective (Aftermath.com):
This is an interesting article about one woman’s journey to a career in crime clean up after studying criminal justice and law enforcement. She says,
“Every job is different; you are going to encounter different circumstances and living situations. You have to have an understanding that everyone has their own battles and struggles, and it is up to you to find a balance between sympathy and empathy in order to best serve the client.”
Read the full article here.
How Crime Scene Clean Up Works (ScienceHowStuffWorks.com):
This is a very well-written article that covers many facets of the crime scene clean up industry. Here is an excerpt about what it takes to work in CTS Decon:
Federal regulations deem all bodily fluids to be biohazards, so any blood or tissue at a crime scene is considered a potential source of infection. You need special knowledge to safely handle biohazardous material and to know what to look for at the scene – for instance, if there’s a thumbnail-size bloodstain on the carpet, there’s a good chance that there’s a 2-foot-diameter bloodstain on the floorboards underneath it. You can’t just clean the carpet and call it a day. You also need permits to transport and dispose of biohazardous waste. CTS decon specialists have all of the necessary permits, training and, perhaps most important, willingness to handle material that would send most of us running out the door to throw up in the bushes. A lot of them come from medical fields that prepare them for the gore — they may have been EMTs or emergency room nurses. A construction background is helpful, too, because some clean-ups (especially meth labs) require walls and built-in structures to be removed.
Read the rest of the article here.
If you or someone you know needs crime scene clean up services, please call us for a free estimate and to answer your questions about procedures. We know what a difficult time this is and we are here to help. Call us at 619 284 4239, or through this link: