If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (603) 432-3221

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Bio-Hazard Process

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Police Lights and Crime Scene Tape Crime Scene

Reader Discretion Advised. This blog is about what happens when an individual has passed away and SERVPRO of Derry/Londonderry is called to handle the aftermath. 

As of this writing, 2021 has seen 5 bio-hazard clean-up services due to death that I have been involved with. Three by natural causes, one voluntary, and one involuntary.  

Death takes on several forms, naturally, voluntarily, or involuntarily. All three have one thing in common in that when an individual passes, their bodily fluids and gases release from their body. The bodily fluids and gases attract flies, typically Blow Flies. The Blow Flies lay their eggs within a couple of days from date of death, which then hatch, bringing the flies into the larval stage, infesting the body.  

Should the individual pass while in the presence of others, or be discovered shortly after death, then the above scenario will not likely have occurred. However, if the individual hasn't been discovered for several plus days, then the above scenario becomes a reality. 

When the body is discovered, and if there are circumstances that appear unsavory, or of a self inflicted nature, the Police need to officially clear the scene before clean-up can begin. Once cleared, SERVPRO can go in and clean up the areas affected by the death (ie: carpets removed, bed linens bagged and disposed of, furniture bagged and disposed of, blood cleaned off of furnishings or walls, personal items cleaned and bagged, etc...).  

For our part, the initial cleaning is performed to enable the family to go in and collect any personal items without being traumatized. Once the family has retrieved personal effects, SERVPRO will go back in and clean any remaining items or areas that may need additional attention, then we set-up Ozone equipment to neutralize any odors and kill off any remaining pests. Once the odors have been neutralized, at that point, we should be done with the service with the exception of disposal, which is contracted with a company that is Certified and Licensed for Bio-Hazard waste. 

This scenario would be a typical process for an individual that resides in some type of rental setting where there is a Property Management company on-site, or directly managed through a landlord. 

The cleaning part of the job is certainly difficult, but the harder part is the snapshot you get of a lost life. That can be the saddest thing to deal with. Keeping the family in mind while performing this duty, showing compassion and empathy, understanding the importance of minimizing their trauma is what makes this type of service worthwhile performing. It's never easy, but it has to be done. 

I write this at this time of year as many individuals have difficulty dealing with the holidays for a variety of reasons. Be mindful of this, look for the signs of depression and desperation, and offer a kind word or company when you can. If you believe somebody may need immediate help, there are numerous non-profit agencies out there that can provide assistance. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 800.273.8255 

Veterans Crisis Line @ 800.273.8255 

National Alliance on Mental Illness @ 800.950.6264

Other News

View Recent Posts