Are Your Crime Scene Cleaners Licensed?

When you’re in a stressful situation such as dealing with the aftermath of a suicide or crime and want to get the mess taken care of as quickly as possible, it’s easy to pick the first crime scene cleanup company you find on the internet. If you do that though, you leave yourself open to being taken advantage of, robbed, and open to litigation and financial loss.

In a recent news article, a homeowner discovered that one of the crime scene cleaners they’d hired had stolen money from their home. Both reprehensible and inexcusable, a reputable crime scene cleanup company completes a thorough criminal background check and drug test on every single employee to make sure this never happens. However, only by doing your due diligence can you mitigate your risk.

Make sure the company you pick is licensed, bonded, and insured

Whichever company you pick for crime scene cleanup, it is important you make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. No matter if the situation is suicide, violence, or another such catastrophe, biohazard cleanup carries great risks for both you and the biohazard cleaning technicians. Reputable companies will therefore make sure they are properly licensed, bonded, and insured.

Licensing

In addition to obtaining a business license which enables the company to do business anywhere in the state, a reputable crime scene cleaning company will also complete all the training required for all needed licenses to transport bio hazardous material and work with specialized cleaning agents. For example, before any technician can do the work of a crime scene cleaner, they must follow OSHA Regulation 29CFR1910.1030. This regulation requires any employee involved in the cleanup of bodily fluids, infectious waste, blood, or other biohazards to:

  • Successfully complete training in blood borne pathogens
  • Be thoroughly acquainted with the company’s formal written blood borne pathogens plan
  • Be equipped with all necessary and required personal protective equipment
  • Have at least the first round of the hepatitis vaccine and work for an employer who will provide the full series of vaccines
  • Know the proper methods for legally removing, storing, and disposing of biohazardous waste. In Georgia, this requires a permit from the GA EPD.

Only by making sure the company you hire has all the required licenses to clean and transport bio hazardous waste, can you be sure all the employees are well-acquainted on how to properly clean and handle such materials.

Bonding

Being bonded means that a company has bought a bond from a surety company which will pay out when any damage has been done. Unlike insurance companies that can pay out far more than the money you have put in, a surety bond will only pay out as much as the bond was bought for and then hold the purchasing company responsible for any loss.

The benefit of making sure a company is bonded is that unlike insurance that can take a long time to pay for any loss, you won’t have to wait for payment as a bond pays for damages right away.

Insurance

All crime scene cleanup companies need to be well-insured before cleaning up any crime scenes. A good insurance policy will not only protect their employees, but also cover any damage to your property and yourself. Even though you may have property, rental, or homeowners insurance, it is still important for the cleanup company to hold their own insurance policy. By going through their insurance for any reimbursement of damages, you won’t have to risk your own policy by making additional claims or have to pay a deductible. In addition, the damage from a claim could exceed your policy limits and you would be held liable for the rest. A responsible crime scene cleanup company will carry their quality insurance.

Do your due diligence

Whichever crime scene cleanup company you choose, make sure they have done their own due diligence in the form of drug testing and background checks for every single employee. Also make sure they carry their own insurance policies, all appropriate licenses, and are bonded. Only by being sure of these things can you mitigate your own risk and be sure the company has your best interest in mind.

Contact Georgia Clean if you have any questions

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 770-766-4562 for immediate assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or by filling out our online contact form. We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and are dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive crime scene clean-up throughout Georgia. You can find all of our licenses and documents here.

Who is Responsible for Cleaning Up After a Crime Scene?

What do you do when you have been the victim of a violent crime or a crime has taken place on your property? After the police write their reports and the investigators talk to all the witnesses, what is left is a scene full of blood, drugs, chemicals, or other bodily fluids with no one else to handle it but you, the property owner.

As much as we would prefer the police to handle the cleanup as well as the investigation, the person responsible for cleaning up the aftermath of a crime scene is whomever owns the property. Whether it’s a home, business, or government land, none of us ever expect to be faced with the horrible aftermath and emotional trauma that a crime scene can entail.

Can I Have Someone Else Clean the Crime Scene?

Unless you are specifically trained to clean up bio hazardous material and have the proper permits to dispose of the resulting medical waste, it is always best to leave crime scene cleanup to the professionals. Only an experienced company with in-depth knowledge of the latest biohazard cleanup techniques should enter the crime scene area.

Do not leave this task to friends, family members, employees, or a regular cleaning company. Not only do they not have the skills required to thoroughly clean and disinfect the entire infected area, but you will be held liable for any related health issues they experience (not to mention the ensuing emotional trauma).

A profession crime scene cleanup company such as Georgia Clean not only has staff with specialized training on everything to look for and how to clean it up, but they also have professional-grade cleaners and equipment to make themselves and an area truly safe. Don’t risk yourself, your loved ones, or employees. Allow the experts to handle it so you and your loved ones can have confidence and peace of mind that the scene will be safe for everyone to use.

How do I pay for needed cleanup?

There are ways to pay for the needed cleanup on your property you may not have thought of:

  • Homeowner’s Insurance: Most insurance companies will cover the cost to cleanup and remediate your home after a crime has taken place. As most people don’t know about this benefit, call your insurance adjuster to clarify what your policy does and does not cover. Here at Georgia Clean, we have years of experience working directly with insurance companies and are happy to submit the claim on your behalf.
  • Crime Victim’s Compensation: Here in Georgia, we have the Georgia Crime Victim’s Compensation Program. Created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1988, they assist victims with expenses incurred as a result of a violent crime and encourage victims to participate in the criminal justice system. Covered expenses can include medical bills, funeral expenses, mental health counseling, loss of income or support, and crime scene cleanup.

Call Us if You Have Any Questions

If you have any questions about our crime scene cleanup services, call us 24/7 at Georgia Clean at 770-766-4562 and we’ll be happy to help.

 

If you are the victim of a crime, both the Georgia Crime Victims Advocacy Council and Atlanta Victim Assistance are eager to help you.