It’s overwhelming to discover the remains of someone who has died unattended.
There are many causes of an unattended death, including homicide, an accident, suicide, or natural causes. Whatever the reason, encountering a lifeless body is bound to be a shocking moment.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at-home deaths are on the rise, as is the need for unattended death cleanup services.
Do you know what to do if you encounter an unattended death? Keep reading to learn what to do if you’re ever in this situation.
What Is an Unattended Death?
When a death occurs when no one else is around, it is defined as an unattended death. Usually, the remains of the deceased individual are not immediately discovered.
Many unattended deaths happen at home. Often, it’s an individual who lives at home alone. When someone lives alone and doesn’t have many visitors, their death may not be discovered in an immediate period of time.
Examples of unattended death include:
- Fatal illnesses or diseases
- Natural Causes
Safety Tips to Consider After Discovering a Body
When you come across an unattended death, you must take certain steps to handle their remains appropriately. A dead body can expose you to harmful pathogens and even disease.
That is why proper procedures must be followed when finding remains. Let’s take a look at eight tips to consider after discovering human remains in a home.
1. Contact Authorities
The first thing you should do when discovering a body is to call 911 to report the situation to the police.
The police will arrive at the scene to determine the death’s exact cause, even if the person passed due to natural causes. The police will bring a local coroner to confirm the cause of death.
2. Arrange for Transport
The deceased will be transported to a crematorium or mortuary. If the coroner suspects foul play, the police will have the body transported to the coroner’s office.
If the coroner is confident that natural causes caused the person’s death, the family is responsible for transporting the body. For this reason, you may choose to look up the contact information of preferred funeral homes and keep it on hand.
3. Reach Out to Loved Ones
Next, it’s time to notify loved ones of the individual’s death. You should also alert the individual’s business associates, church, and other members of their social circle.
Be careful about posting the news on social media. You don’t want someone close to the individual finding out in such an impersonal way.
These loved ones can become a valuable support system to lean on during your grief, as well.
4. Contact a Professional Cleanup Service
While you may be in shock and wish to help the deceased, you should never attempt to clean up the scene on your own.
Biohazard cleanup is dangerous and should only be performed by professionals trained to handle this type of cleaning. It’s essential not to risk your health by attempting to clean the body or surrounding area. If you’re not careful, you may expose yourself to severe illness or disease.
When someone dies alone, the decomposition process begins within hours.
As the remains decompose, bodily fluids can leak into bedding, flooring, and carpet. The process is rapid, and harmful pathogens release into the environment as the body continues to decompose.
Even if the person has only been dead a few hours, the surrounding areas require efficient, professional cleaning.
If the death was violent or caused by homicide, there may be blood splatter on the walls, and bodily fluid contaminated with bacteria may soil the area. If this isn’t addressed, foul odors may linger.
To prevent lingering odors and biohazards, contact a professional biohazard cleaning service immediately to begin the process. They have specialized training and protective gear to help them clean unattended death scenes. Their expertise is crucial to prevent you and others living in the home from being endangered by threatening pathogens.
5. Get Started on Insurance Paperwork
Insurance may be the last thing on your mind during this time, but it’s essential to file a claim with the homeowner’s insurance company as soon as possible to cover the cost of cleanup.
If you hire a cleanup team, they can help you start the process. A reputable company will assist you by leading you through the required paperwork.
Contact Your Local Unattended Death Cleanup Company for Help
If you have elderly individuals living with you, or often visit a family member that lives alone, keep the contact information of a trusted biohazard cleaning company on hand. You will be prepared when the unexpected occurs.
Hiring a reputable company for unattended death cleanup ensures that all local, state, and federal safety standards are followed.
PureOne Services St. Louis utilizes specialized products, professional-grade disinfectants, and ozone treatments to clean and sanitize porous surfaces, eliminate odors, and remove stains caused by unattended death.
If you need help with an unattended death, don’t wait. Please contact us for a free consultation today.