Having to deal with the death of a loved one to suicide is an extremely traumatic experience. One will have to deal with a flood of emotions that will take time to process and unpack. There are so many layers to dealing with the tragic matter and a lot can be overlooked.
One thing that is often overlooked is suicide cleanup. It is unthinkable that a person undergoing a traumatic experience still needs to deal with another form of emotional trauma that is suicide cleanup.
In dealing with suicide cleanup, it is important that the following guidelines are strictly followed.
5 Important Suicide Cleanup Guidelines That Should Be Observed at All Times
Suicide cleanup can be hazardous to one’s health. Bodily components will be exposed that can cause severe illnesses like hepatitis and HIV when not dealt with properly. Viruses can also be present. To ensure safety from biohazards and infection, the following guidelines must be observed at all times:
1. The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment
When you are to take on suicide cleanup, you should always wear proper protective clothing. You should be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is necessary because you would want to be safe at all times. You do not know the kind of biohazards that you could be exposed to so it’s best to be protected across all endpoints. A complete PPE will have coveralls, respirators, disposable gloves, goggles, and safety shoes.
You can purchase a PPE at pharmacies and drugstores. You should endeavor to have access to them first before beginning any form of cleanup. Your PPE should be worn at all times during the cleanup. You should also dispose of it properly.
2. The Importance of Biohazard Bags
You will need biohazard bags when doing suicide cleanup. Do know that this is not a regular house cleanup. Things that you would normally use when cleaning your house will not do when you’re doing suicide cleanup. You will have to dispose of all bodily fluids in a proper and safe manner. This is why you need biohazard bags.
Regular plastic bags won’t do because they do not have the needed barrier and warning sign. Unlike normal plastic bags, biohazard bags have special layers that avoid any object within to spread or leak. This is highly important because you wouldn’t want to unknowingly spread any form of infectious disease or virus. A biohazard bag also has the proper warnings that can duly inform waste collectors to treat it carefully. To ensure your safety and everyone’s safety, you will need to have biohazard bags when doing a suicide cleanup.
3. The Importance of the Use of the Proper Disinfectant
You cannot use your regular cleaning solutions when doing suicide cleanup. A cleaning solution that will do will be one that is a registered disinfectant product. It has to have a 1:10 make-up and should clearly have a broad-spectrum kill claim.
When using it, you should strictly observe its manufacturer’s instructions. You should never mix it with other materials as it can affect and lessen its capacity to disinfect.
During usage, ensure that you’re wearing proper protective equipment. You should not allow any part of your skin to be exposed to the solution. Wear protective disposable gloves at all times. It’s best to always have a spare as cleaning can accidentally damage gloves from all the scrubbing.
4. The Importance of the Decontamination of Reusable Equipment
Every single thing that you will use for a suicide cleanup that you plan to reuse should undergo decontamination. This includes buckets, brooms, and other cleanup equipment.
To decontaminate, you should use a solution with a broad-spectrum kill claim. After cleaning, you should dedicate time to allow for all to air dry.
This is a critical part of cleanup because you would not want to reuse infected cleaning equipment.
5. The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention Should There Have Been Unnecessary Exposure
As mentioned earlier, you should make it a point to cover and protect all parts of your body during suicide cleanup. This is to ensure that you’re not exposed to viruses, bacteria, and all forms of biohazards.
Should an accident take place and any part of your body gets exposed, immediately rinse such areas. If a wound or a cut has been accidentally exposed, you should immediately see a doctor.
You Can Ask for Professional Help
One thing that you need to know is that even if you think you have the energy and calm mental disposition to do a suicide cleanup, you should opt to have professionals do it for you. You should not voluntarily give yourself another emotional trauma when you can ask professional cleaners to do it for you.
There are numerous providers of professional cleanup services in the country. Just look up suicide cleanup service in Virginia and the internet will offer numerous professional cleanup teams that can help you. Professional cleaners come prepared and fully protected so you would not need to purchase PPE, biohazard bags, and robust disinfectants and cleaning solutions.
You need not undergo another trauma. You should give yourself the time and the space to grieve. You need not worry about cleaning up the scene when you have your own emotions that you need to deal with and process.
You do not have to take on everything. Allow professionals to do the clean-up for you. Give yourself all the time and space that you need to heal and recover from the pain of losing a loved one. Be kind to yourself.