Recent Biohazard Posts

Blood, Decomposition and Pathogens - SERVPRO Biohazard Waste Clean Up

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Blood, Decomposition and Pathogens - SERVPRO Biohazard Waste Clean Up Trauma - Crime Scene - Biohazard Clean Up - Call Us 24/7 365 at (530) 222-0200

Biohazard waste is all too often the product of a bad situation. 

SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties technicians first and foremost are trained to exercise compassion and professionalism with loved ones and family members having to confront the sanitization and removal of infectious materials.  With that said, as a SERVPRO franchise, we are fully California Department of Health and Safety certified and IICRC trained to contain and remove biomedical waste and infectious substances.

Hazardous waste falls within in a broad range of categories: blood, body fluid from trauma and decomposition, tissue, organs and body parts, medical laboratory waste such as used hypodermic needles and surgical instruments along with, chemicals and waste from illegal drug manufacturing.   Pet urine and animal fecal matter, rodent droppings, burst sewer pipes and infected storm runoff water and flooding from severe weather provide a well-rounded list of what can be considered biohazard.

Let’s discuss for a moment emergency vehicle decontamination.  Police and Fire first responders rushing to provide assistance to the City of Redding and Shasta County residents in need rely on absolutely sanitized emergency vehicles free of previous bloodborne pathogens from a suicide or homicide.  We address these public safety concerns by adhering to rigid health standards and medical waste containment.  Blood, in particular, carries a host of disease microorganisms including Hepatitis B (Serum Hepatitis), Hepatitis C (HCV), HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, Bacterial Meningitis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).

We work closely with our local EMS and health professionals to decontaminate and sterilize the walls, ceilings and floors of homes.  Our technicians utilize the latest biohazard protective suits and package, label and transport these wastes in biocontainment vessels.   As one of Northern California’s leading restoration providers we fully understand the traumatic moments just after a death or crime scene and the professional response of timely biohazard clean up.   

Contact us at (530) 222-0200

Compassion and Crime Scene, Trauma, Infectious and Biological Hazard Clean Up

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Compassion and Crime Scene, Trauma, Infectious and Biological Hazard Clean Up BioHazard | Trauma | Crime Scene Clean Up | SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity and Greater Tehama Counties | 530-222-0200

A Shasta County family has a tragic and horrible accident. 

An individual dies or suffers severe injury through unattended death, a commercial or industrial accident, homicide, or suicide which has a life-altering effect on family members, employers and the local communities.  Biohazard disinfection in these cases would include the cleaning of blood and body fluids, communicable diseases, infection, blood-borne pathogens and toxic chemicals.  

A recent article, worth reading, reports that a mother’s son died in the home bathroom from a drug overdose. The mother went into the bathroom to clean up the scene and simply by touching toxic drug residue in the area she overdosed herself.   Tragedy upon tragedy in this true account.  Simply put, this is the very reason that qualified and trained professional like SERVPRO must be utilized as necessary first responders.  Biohazard toxic materials can, in fact, become lethal to well-meaning family members.

First responders such as our local Redding fire and police officers, property owners, families, friends, and ultimately insurance agents are all within the crime scene and trauma infectious and biological hazard clean up pipeline.  SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties is considered Northern California’s priority responder providing compassionate and professional clean up services.  When a body begins to decompose the internal organs and tissues emit gas and fluids which contaminate nearby property, walls, and structural underflooring with toxic agents.  For example, carpet typically allows blood to soak through into the flooring.  As decomposition continues these fluids can, in fact, transmit diseases such as Salmonella, Cholera, TB, Hepatitis (Type A and B), HIV /AIDS, H1N1 and various Flu strains.   Where the scene includes the remains of lab or drug use, Meth or Heroin, provides an additional risk.

Our SERVPRO Technicians are trained and certified in biohazard remediation and disinfection.  They utilize special equipment such as personal protective gear (PPE) along with tools and equipment made to contain medical waste.  We also have the chemicals necessary to properly sanitize not only blood and biological residue but also to neutralize lingering odors. 

Compassionate specialized response is the key in these situations of unexpected trauma.  When our local community knows that SERVPRO has the best interests of families in mind this can ease the emotional pain of the tragedy. Characteristics like kindness, understanding and compassion along with the training, experience and equipment to remediate and disinfect a home or business back to it’s original state come together with the utmost professionalism in the clean up process.

SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties

“We are here to help”     (530) 222-0200    Open 24/7  – 365 Days A Year

Crime Scene Cleanup - Hospital Grade Sanitation - Blood Borne Pathogens

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Crime Scene Cleanup - Hospital Grade Sanitation - Blood Borne Pathogens Crime Scene Cleanup - Homicide, Suicide or Other Serious Blood Spill in Your Home.

Removal: Biological Contaminants, Odors

Restoration: Property, Home and Livability

SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties ensures every trauma scene meets or exceeds hospital-grade sanitation standards. SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties employs trained service technicians who are skilled in removing harmful biological contaminants, as well as any lingering odors. As remediation specialists, our primary goal is to preserve the customer’s property and return the home to a safe, livable condition.

1. Three Zone Crime Scene Containment

Industry standard and proven sanitation techniques used by our technicians establish a "three zone" cleaning barrier. Three "maximum control" zones using plastic sheeting and bio-tape separate the contaminated area from other parts of the building. This prevents cross-contamination from occurring between clean and affected rooms:

  • The Control Zone is the contamination area, where work will take place.
  • The Buffer Zone is where technicians put on personal protective equipment, and fill disposal boxes.
  • The Clean Zone is designated to store tools and equipment, in order to prevent cross contamination.

During all stages of the sanitation process, SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties technicians are fully protected by Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including respiratory gear, a double layer of gloves, and hazmat suits designed especially for biohazard recovery.

We treat all crime scenes as if they contain a life threatening infection, because some of the worst viruses are known to survive in blood and biological materials. Statistics from the CDC show that 1 in 24 people has either HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

2. Biohazard Cleaning and Structural Removal

  •     Cleaning: SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties technicians start by removing all traces of dirt, chemicals, blood and biological materials from the control zone. Personal property that cannot be remediated must be disassembled and disposed of as medical waste.
  •     Sanitization: After cleaning, technicians treat the control zone with disinfectants by spraying surfaces at precise intervals. Following treatment, the crew wipes all surfaces manually a second time before using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) fluorescence testing, the same technology used by hospitals to verify sanitation level.
  •     Deodorization: In the final step, Sterile Pros uses a deodorizer to eliminate the possibility of lingering odors. 

If you’ve had a homicide, suicide or other serious blood spill in your home, we know it’s an unbelievably painful experience for you. After the sirens fade, you’re the one left with the chaos, the pain and the mess. Besides blood and other body fluids, there may be damage to property, tear gas, fingerprint dust and chemicals. The investigation of crime scenes often yields cross-contamination from room to room. It may seem too overwhelming to even know where to start. That’s where we can help.

Our professional standards of conduct mean we have standardized practices which are built on meeting the most stringent state and local regulations regarding credentials, licensing, insurance and training.

CrimeSceneTape-BiohazardGlove

The moment we arrive, our teams are trained to use compassion, discretion and communication skills. They will take as much time as you need to understand the process, the costs and payment options. We will take pictures to help document the scene for you, and give you a written estimate.

Please phone 24/7 SERVPRO of North Shasta, Trinity & Greater Tehama Counties - (530) 222-0200

Biohazard leave it to the Professionals

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

The owner of this home was in her late 80s. She owned 3 dogs and 6 cats, as she grew older she lost her ability to move around her home freely. With no family or friends around to help her or check on her regularly she couldn’t care for herself let alone her animals. For an unknown period, the animals were not being let outside therefore, the only place to go to the bathroom was inside the home. By the time APS (Adult Protective Services) arrived, the home was covered in feces. APS called a few housekeeping companies to clean the home. When turned down by all the regular cleaning service providers in town they called SERVPRO of North Shasta.  We had everything cleaned up in time for her to come home to a private care giver and to ensure she would never experience this again.

The After Meth

3/7/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard The After Meth Hazmat crews clean up after meth lab

When an Oregon family started experiencing mysterious health problems soon after moving into a new home this summer, a neighbor came forward with a likely explanation: The previous owners had produced methamphetamine there. The house had never been properly cleaned after the drug cooks moved out, but an environmental engineer who studies meth labs says the family may not have been safe even if a cleanup had taken place. 


His research suggests that once a house has been used to make meth, the drug can continue to percolate in the walls for years.


"We said, 'It needs a little bit of love, but it's got good bones,'" Jonathan Hankins told Yahoo News of the home he and his wife Beth bought in Klamath Falls, Ore., from Freddie Mac. "We just had no idea that those bones were poisonous."


Breathing problems started for Beth within days of move-in. Soon Jonathan was suffering from nosebleeds and migraine headaches, and the couple's 2-year-old son, Ezra, had mouth sores. The Hankins said a test showed methamphetamine contamination was at 80 times the state's designated safe limit. [Was D.A.R.E. Effective?]


Glenn Morrison, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to study how methamphetamine accumulates in building materials, furniture and common household items during production. His findings so far seem to validate Jonathan Hankins' choice to call his house's "bones" poisonous.


"You can have a very clean wall and still have the walls releasing chemicals," said Morrison. "Let's say the meth lab was busted, and they took out everything and washed it down and aired it out for a week or so, that's probably sufficient to remove solvents and things that end up in dust. What it doesn't do is get at those chemicals — methamphetamines and similar compounds — that have penetrated through the drywall and into the building structure."


Though some states have authored their own guidelines, no national standards exist on meth lab-cleanup or acceptable levels of methamphetamine exposure.


Methamphetamine Labs 


Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our technicians follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

The 5 Myths of Crime Scene Cleanup

8/11/2016 (Permalink)

Most consumers are not familiar with what crime scene cleanup entails. Popular culture closely associated the field with the highly technical and impersonal procedures that are popularized by primetime crime television shows. However,  there is more to crime scene cleanup than hi-tech resources and analysis. In fact, it is important to focus on the individuals that are most affected by these scenes—the residents, employees or members of the public whose lives have been disrupted by a traumatic event.

For SERVPRO, it is crucial for people to understand that crime scene cleanup is not only about disinfecting an area, but also helping affected individuals deal with an often-emotional situation and get back to their normal lives in a timely manner. Taking this approach, SERVPRO strives to educate the public about the many misconceptions that apply to this necessary—but deeply misunderstood—industry.

CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS

Myth One: Law Enforcement Professionals Will Clean a Crime Scene

Investigators and law enforcement examine essential evidence at a crime scene. They collect important information, assess the scene and then move on to take the next step within a case. They do not typically have a cleanup team.

Furthermore, crime scene investigators may not just be taking away evidence. They could also contribute to or spread existing biohazards. Certain chemicals, sprays and other resources could further impact a home or other living area, complicating an already problematic situation. Crime scene cleanup professionals are adept in removing these materials in addition to blood and other biological waste.

Myth Two: Tax Dollars Pay For Crime Scene Cleanup

In connection with the above, some people assume that crime scene cleanup is a service that is paid by taxpayer money. However, it is important to recognize that once law enforcement and investigators are finished with their work, the property owner or victims are responsible for any cleanup.

This can be an incredible burden on many, especially those who are already struggling with unexpected expenses such as hospital stays or funerals. Fortunately, there are many insurance plans that cover crime scene cleanup services, and many states also have Victims Advocacy funds available. SERVPRO is a national leader recognized by many insurance companies and makes an effort to ensure that these payment options are explored for the client.

Myth Three: Crime Scene Cleanups Help Solve Investigations

There is also a common misconception that crime scene cleanup crews play a part in resolving a case, or that it’s like “CSI” the television show. However, in reality, these teams are usually dispatched as soon as all investigating parties have collected evidence and examined a scene.

The job of professional cleaning crews is not to examine clues, but to clean the affected area thoroughly, meticulously and in an efficient manner. An article from The Houston Chronicle relates, “…the job involves removing hazardous material then cleaning the scene to eliminate all traces of the incident. The work requires a strong stomach as well as a degree of sensitivity as cleaners often encounter people who have recently lost their loved ones in violent circumstances.”

One SERVPRO representative adds, “We are not solving crimes. We are cleaning up and recovering areas where crimes and other tragedies happen.”

Myth Four: Cleanup Crews Only Provide Services at Homicide Scenes

One myth SERVPRO strives to dispel is that crime scene cleanup crews only work to restore and disinfect contaminated areas related to homicide and other crimes. An expert at SERVPRO explains, “Crime scenes are actually not the bulk of our work. It is suicides and unattended death where significant damage to the area has occurred.” Whatever the biohazard, SERVPRO crews are ready to assist nationwide.

Myth Five: Crime Scene Cleanup Crews Are Disrespectful to Victims

From the outset, a crime scene cleanup may seem rather impersonal. According to an article on Boston.com, “…the scene will be quarantined; plastic sheeting is erected and air scrubbers pump out the dirty air.” While professionals are required to wear biohazard suits and follow meticulous precautions to disinfect a given area, it does not mean that these crews are not connected to their work or that they do not care about the victims.

From helping customers understand what to expect in the process to assisting with insurance payments, SERVPRO takes extra care to ensure that biohazard cleanup remains as simple and painless as possible for the individuals who have been personally affected by a tragedy.

If you or someone you know is in need of a profession biohazard cleaning service, contact us for assistance nationwide, 24/7 at (530) 222-0200