A significant number of deaths occur due to accidental shootings. Nobody is ever truly prepared for such a horrific event. Whether fatal or not, accidental firearm discharge typically leads to significant blood spills, severe injury to soft tissue and bone. Discharges from high-velocity ammunition have the potential of spreading biohazard contamination beyond the immediate scene of the shooting.
Those who find a shooting victim’s body usually find blood, body fluids and tissue that has spread to surrounding surfaces and areas. This widens the biohazard contamination zone that needs cleaning.
A key challenge following an accidental shooting is cleaning the affected area. This is not a task for everyone as the area will be contaminated with blood and other biological materials. We don’t recommend cleaning up the area on your own following an accidental shooting. Remember, it’s also a potential crime scene, best left to the professionals.
Why Accidental Shootings Happen
The first rule of gun safety should always be to assume every firearm is loaded until you have personally checked the chamber. Firearms don’t just “go off” on their own. Fact is, even experienced gun owners, law enforcement officials, active and former military personnel can forget to empty the gun’s chamber before storing it.
Improperly stored guns and curiosity causes many deaths from accidental gunshots. Though not very many, hunting-related accidental shootings do happen in the US.
The most at-risk group in terms of accidental shootings are younger children. This is mainly from unsafely kept guns in the home (loaded, unlocked, or both). People who choose to store their guns at home should always practice safe storage.
The Challenges of Accidental Shooting Aftermath Cleaning
Between dealing with the authorities, discussing insurance matters, and coping with emotional grief, you are likely to feel at a loss after an accidental shooting. When you have lost a loved one or someone in your home has a self-inflicted gunshot, the least you want to be bothered about is the cleaning up.
Even before the shooting victim has been removed from the accident scene, blood and residual tissues begin to decompose. They can also release harmful pathogens and unpleasant odors. Blood and body fluids can penetrate walls, floorings, furniture, and even reach the ceiling.
If the accidental shooting incident happened in a boat, car, truck, or RV, it could seep through thin upholstery penetrating hard-to-reach spaces. Besides, when the shooting has occurred in close quarters, the trauma cleanup is more complicated.
Unskilled biohazard remediation after a shooting, especially when a significant blood spill is involved, not only results in lingering decomposition odors and insects but bacteria and mold growth too.
The Cleaning Process
The biohazard remediation process can only begin after law enforcement investigators complete their job at the scene. There are four main steps of the cleaning process:
The goal is to eliminate blood and other biological materials found in the scene where the shooting occurred. This is usually a thorough floor-to-ceiling endeavor, including cleaning the room itself and all items that might have been affected.
Why Use Professional Cleaners?
Those attempting to clean up after accidental shootings are likely to experience considerable emotional trauma and even get overwhelmed. The best recourse is to bring in the services of crime scene remediation professionals. These cleanup experts are fully prepared and equipped to confront such delicate matters and remediate bloody scenes.
Likewise, if you’re dealing with a self-inflicted gunshot, consider using the services of a professional cleanup and remediation company. They are ready day and night to help you move forward after the traumatic accidental shooting.
Skilled aftermath professionals take care of the gruesome cleanup work and remove the heavy burden from you or your family. They use EPA certified cleaners and products to ensure the affected area is thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized to remove all accidental shooting reminders.
Unintentional shootings can be self-inflicted or by a third party, and can happen to anyone. Because of the personal nature and impact of the event, plus the legal and safety issues involved, it is advisable to use a well trained, experienced death scene cleaning company.
Steve Keller is the owner off Red Responders, the most trusted biohazard cleanup company in Dallas-Fort Worth area, specializing in crime scene, death, suicide, homicide, or any other extreme cleanup. Visit the Red Responders website to request your free evaluation and estimate.