3 Things That Will Surprise You about Hotel Room Deaths
While hotels are usually a place to go while having fun on vacation, they are also often the settings where someone passes away. Whether from suicide, murder, or dying from natural causes, far more people die while staying in a hotel room than you would think. When it happens, companies like Georgia Clean are called in to clean the mess left behind and make sure the area is safe for the next person.
To protect their reputation, most hotels don’t talk about the deaths that have taken place on their property, even when asked directly. However, as biohazard cleaners who have cleaned many hotel rooms throughout Georgia after someone has passed away, here are three things about hotel room deaths that will surprise you.
- Deaths in hotel rooms happen far more often than you would think.
Though someone passing away in a hotel room it is not an everyday occurrence for a business, it does happen far more often than you would expect at most hotels. Sometimes people have a heart attack while traveling or pass away in their sleep. Having a heart attack while using the toilet is particularly common due to the potential strain on an already weakened heart. Others may use alcohol or drugs with the potential to overdose while being away from home and without their local support system.
Another common way for people to pass away in a hotel is through suicide or violent crime. To spare their friends and family from finding their body and having to clean up the mess left behind, some people planning to kill themselves will check into a hotel and commit the act there at that location. The hotel will then discover the death through the act itself (such as someone leaping from a building), family or friends calling the hotel to request a wellness check, the hotel staff entering the room for housekeeping purposes, the sound of a gunshot, or the odor coming from a room after several days.
Violent crimes such as murder, domestic abuse, or physical abuse taking place in hotels are another leading reason why this is where many people pass away. Whether it is a partner trying to escape an abuser and being found or an argument that turns deadly, the violence committed leaves behind a mess needing to be cleaned. Once the death is found, the hotel staff will alert local authorities who will take responsibility for the investigation, but the responsibility of the cleanup is left to hotel who are then legally obligated to make sure the room is fully cleaned and disinfected.
- Most items in a hotel room are replaced
Depending on the type of death and the biohazards left behind, most items in the room will need to be replaced afterward for the protection of future guests. A gunshot, for example, can spray blood throughout a large area, create holes in the wall, and tiny droplets can even move into the HVAC system. Porous items like sheets, towels, artwork, electronics, and wooden furniture may all need to be discarded as biohazardous waste and replaced by the hotel. Carpet, bathroom grout, and drywall may also need to be removed and replaced as blood can soak into these building materials and soak into the layers underneath. When cleaning the space, these layers must be thoroughly checked so stains don’t spread, attract insects, or cause health issues for other guests staying in the space. You don’t want to clean up spilled blood only to have it spread into the new carpet from the subfloor beneath or have a guest report an odor due to improper cleanup after a death in a hotel room. When all porous items have been discarded, the affected building layers are removed and repaired with new items put in their place, then the room can be rented out to other guests.
- Some businesses don’t make sure the rooms are cleaned up properly
Most hotels, especially here in Georgia, will make sure all issues are cleaned up properly by licensed death cleanup professionals such as our staff at Georgia Clean. Some motels and hotels, however, cut corners by having people untrained in blood cleanup do the job or don’t clean up the entire mess. Experienced professionals will know all the places where blood could go such as in the air intake system, in gaps such as between the toilet and the floor, and they will have the powerful industrial-grade cleaners most hotels don’t keep on hand to fully disinfect the area. Regular housekeeping staff should never clean up after these kinds of deaths in a hotel room. Doing so without the proper support, training, and experience can be emotionally and physically damaging. Such staff are also liable to miss areas blood has seeped into that can then damage the health of other guests and the hotel’s reputation.
At Georgia Clean, we make sure the entire room is cleaned and fully disinfected.
What is the process when someone dies in a hotel room?
When someone dies in a hotel room, the hotel staff typically call the police to report the death. Investigators then arrive to discern what happened and collect evidence. After the coroner removes the body, the police finish the investigation, and a cause of death may be looked into. Once the police have left and released the scene back to the property owner, it is then up to the owner of the hotel to clean up the blood and other body fluids, making sure all surfaces are disinfected and the environment safe for all future guests.
At Georgia Clean, we are here to protect the health of guests and the business of hotel owners. If you need help cleaning up after someone has passed away on your property, give us a call. Available 24-7, we are here whenever you need us.