Bio-One of Akron decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

When Someone Dies at Home, What Do You Do?

WHEN SOMEONE DIES AT HOME, WHAT DO YOU DO?

 

October 4, 2021

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We are in the business to clean up after death.  Bio-One is often called after someone passes away alone in their home - this is called unattended death or undiscovered death. Body decomposition begins as soon as the person dies, so it is vital to be aware of the possible heath hazards that come with finding a dead body in a residence. 

Bodies that aren't discovered right away can quickly decompose, especially in the warmer and humid months, causing body fluid spillage that can carry bloodborne pathogens and other harmful diseases, such as MRSA, HIV, Hepatitis B and C.  Even if the person is not knowingly infected, they could still be a disease carrier, so treating the scene as a biohazard is of utmost importance.

  • Call the police. First responders will photograph the scene and properly take the body away. This is the first step.
  • Leave the residenceDo not attempt to clean the scene by yourself. No matter the cause - natural, suicide or homicide - chances are there are grisly reminders of the traumatic event that must be disposed of and cleaned.
  • Call a bioremediation company like Bio-One. Fire departments or police do not clean trauma scenes. Once they leave, that is where Bio-One steps in to assist. Bio-One provides compassionate, discreet, professional, on-call biohazard and trauma cleanup. We use proper personal protective gear, approved OSHA-approved methods and hospital-grade cleaners to eliminate any harmful pathogens and diseases.

As owner, Cuyler will work with you to determine whether insurance is available and will handle the insurance claim, if you wish. This allows you to focus on notifying family and friends.

In the days and months ahead, other matters will need to be taken care of.  Here's a helpful list I'm sharing from our sister office, Bio-One Raleigh:

  • Making funeral arrangements
  • Obtaining a death certificate and making copies
  • Contacting Social Security and any other agencies to have benefits stopped
  • Closing bank accounts and credit cards
  • Finding life insurance policies
  • Stopping utilities and stopping or forwarding mail

All these tasks may see overwhelming but you don't have to go through this alone. Bio-One has been providing biohazard and trauma cleanup services since 2011. Our motto of Help First, Business Second means our focus is on the road to recovery for grieving families and communities so they can begin the healing process.

We are local and serve all communities in Northeast Ohio. When you call, day or night, you will speak directly with an owner - no call center or answering machine. Bio-One Akron understands the urgency of what you are going through and will be onsite within hours of your call:  330-888-5665

 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Someone to Clean Up After a Death?

August 19, 2021

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We get this question a lot.  It’s a tough one, because there is no way to really know until we see how much remediation is needed.

For instance, if someone passes away and isn’t discovered for a few weeks, then the cleanup is much more involved than if the person was found earlier.  Without getting into gory details, all I’ll say is as the body decomposes, more areas in the home are impacted.

It seems many people are so worried about the cost that they don’t pick up the phone to consult with a professional crime and trauma scene cleaning company.  But these same folks might not realize:

1. Insurance covers these kinds of services 95% of the time

2. It costs you nothing for us to come out and give you an estimate

Lately, Bio-One has been on numerous jobs to clean up after unattended death.  That’s not uncommon in the Summer when the heat speeds up decomposition.  On at least a couple of occasions, the family member was a distant relative who suddenly “inherited” the job of handling matters.  They seem relieved when they learn insurance will likely cover the remediation costs.  But what if you don’t know what insurance your relative had?  Insurance policies aren’t often found lying around the house, so we sometimes suggest/ask:

1. Is there a mortgage on the home?  If so, then there would be an insurance policy.  Contact the mortgage company

2. Is there a checkbook?  Perhaps an insurance premium was paid

3. Check the mail

This really isn’t the kind of job you should do on your own.  Cleaning up after a death may expose you to biohazards from bloodborne pathogens, not to mention the many emotions involved – there is no reason to be victimized a second time.

Bio-One Akron has the necessary training, licensing and insurance.  We provide our services throughout Northeast Ohio – give us a call and we can come take a look.

 

What causes someone to hoard? How do you treat a Hoarding Disorder?

We sometimes refer to ourselves as Last Responders.  We're the people you call to come in and clean after an extreme event.  Yesterday we were able to see how certain situations unfold before they become an emergency.

 

Bio-One/Akron Hoarding helped conduct a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) for professionals who sometimes aid people in hoarding situations during the course of their work.  The training session was put together by the Summit County Ohio Hoarding Task Force.  My husband, Cuyler, was the presenter.  

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Not only is Cuyler owner of Bio-One, but he is a licensed counselor for both clinical mental health and chemical dependency - his licensures permit him to host this kind of training.

 

The Zoom training session, Introduction to Clutter and Hoarding, was a "sold out" event. 100 people attended - not just locally, but from around the world!

So, what causes someone to hoard?  The behavior can stem from biological, psychological, and/or social components.

 

Biological influences:  Hoarding can be genetic and run in families.  Brain structure can be different.

 

Psychological contributors:  People who hoard often have trouble with problem-solving.

 

Social aspects:  Our consumer culture encourages buying.

 

People with a Hoarding Disorder have unique cognitive processes, and treatment strategies are many.  They may include increasing decision-making abilities, or perhaps improving attention, with the use of a timer.

 

If you're looking for help with hoarding behavior, you may contact the Hoarding Task Force County of Summit ADM Board:

cluterhelp@admboard.org 

(330) 762-3500

 

And if you or someone you know needs help getting a home back in order, you may give us a call at Bio-One!

 

 

 

 

June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day

June 27, 2021

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Post-traumatic stress disorder - once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome - is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a terrifying event. It can happen to anyone, at any age.   

 

Someone experiencing PTSD may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares, or feel sadness, fear or anger. Any kind of trauma can bring on PTSD: sexual or physical assault, combat, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, a natural disaster.

 

 

If symptoms last for a month, it’s time to call your doctorBio-One would like to acknowledge all people suffering from PTSD due to varying circumstances. You are strong and not alone. 

June is National Safety Month: 7 Things You Can Do To Avoid Being a Crime Victim

June 2, 2021

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One of the things I often say when my kids head out is, "stay safe."  But what does that really mean?  June is National Safety Month and the ideal opportunity to spell out more specifically what's intended when I say those two words.  Here are some simple tips to increase your personal safety and possibly prevent you from experiencing an act of violence.  

7 TIPS:

1. Make eye contact with people who concern you.  A would-be attacker now knows you've seen their face.  They are often looking for an easy target and aren't interested in people who will put up a fight, and/or identify them. 

2. Don't worry about being polite.  If you feel uneasy about someone who got into the elevator, simply step out. You don't have to stay on just to avoid an awkward situation.

3. Avoid parking next to vans or large vehicles.  Someone waiting inside can quickly grab you as you're trying to get into your car. 

4. Don't sit in your car, especially at night.  Once you park, get to where you are going. The longer you wait in your car, the more of a target you are. 

5. Be aware of scams. If you see someone needing help on the side of the road, call 9-1-1 and keep driving.  And if you get pulled over alone, you are permitted to call police to verify the person who is pulling you over is a valid police officer.  (Before stopping, it's suggested you put on your flashers and drive the speed limit to a busy, well-lit area while making the call)

6. Practice being aware. Know who is walking behind you. If you're walking alone at night, don't be on the phone, and don't use your earbuds.  These are all described as distracted behavior that attackers look for. 

7. Escape is always the best option. Even if this means you may get hurt in the process, don't be afraid to scream, fight, and do what it takes to get away. Never let anyone take you anywhere without a fight.

A little self awareness can go a long way.  The more you understand about how people are targeted, the better you can make safe decisions that will become second nature to you.  Stay safe!

 

 

U.S. POLICE & FIRE CHAMPIONSHIPS ANNOUNCES PRESENTING SPONSOR: BIO-ONE, INC.

 

May 31, 2021

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The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) is proud to announce that the 2021 United States Police & Fire Championships (USPFC) is now Presented by Bio-One, Inc. 

Operating under the motto, "Help First, Business Second," Bio-One provides high-level decontamination and biohazard cleanup services while offering clients the privacy and compassion needed at difficult times. Bio-One operates in 41 states with over 110 locations and is committed to providing first-class service. 

"We are thrilled to add Bio-One as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2021 USPFC because First Responders warrant our support," said California Police Athletic Federation President LC Collins. "Bio-One’s reputation is second to none, and with their partnership, we can offer first responders a health and wellness outlet.  We look forward to working with them for years to come."

Founded by San Diego Police Lieutenant Veon "Duke" Nyhus, The United States Police & Fire Championships were first held in San Diego in 1967. Duke recognized the need to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among the Public Safety and First Responder community members. 

The USPFC caters to active and retired public safety and first responders who participate in Olympic-style competitions and open to individuals representing firefighters, law enforcement, and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs across the country. Traditionally athletes compete in 45+ sporting events from biathlon to motocross across 35+ venues in Southern California.

"At Bio-One our support for Law Enforcement and Fire Service Officers is unwavering, and we're thrilled to partner with the California Police Athletic Federation during this memorable event," said Nick-Anthony Zamucen, founder of Bio-One. "We wish each athlete success and look forward to celebrating these everyday heroes."

The 2021 USPFC Presented by Bio-One will take place from June 10th to the 19th in venues across San Diego, California, and strengthen the relationship between First Responders and the community for many years to come!

About the United States Police and Fire Championships

The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) is the parent organization of two multi-sport programs designed for peace officers and firefighters. The World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) are open to active and retired law enforcement and fire service personnel throughout the world. The United States Police & Fire Championships (USPFC) are open to active or retired public safety and first responder personnel from an eligible agency within the USA. For more information, please visit www.uspfc.org. 

National Police Week Badge

#HELPFIRST FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

Bio-One Donates First Aid Kits in Recognition of National Police Week

 

AKRON, OHIO – In recognition of National Police Week, May 9-15, Bio-One thanked first responders by donating first aid kits to Akron, Fairlawn, Bath, Copley, Norton, Cuyahoga Falls, Wadsworth, Medina, Creston, Massillon, Canton, and North Canton Police Departments, and the Wayne County Sheriff's Department as part of the nationwide campaign #HelpFirst for First Responders. Throughout the week, Bio-One offices in 41 states distributed a cumulative of 5,000 first aid kits which included alcohol swabs, Advil, gloves, gauze pads, and an assortment of bandages.

 

The #HelpFirst campaign aligns with the Bio-One motto, Help First, Business Second, and will be used to help officers and community members in the event of a minor medical emergency. 

 

“We are proud to support the members of our local law enforcement” said Cuyler Costanzo, owner of Bio-One. “Their work is often risky and thankless and we are ever so grateful to them for ensuring the safety of our community.”

 

As a 2021 corporate sponsor of the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Bio-One, Inc. also paid tribute to fallen officers during the virtual 33rd Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13 at 8:00 p.m. The event was broadcast live on Facebook, YouTube, and LawMemorial.org/CV.

 

“We are so thankful for Bio-One’s corporate partnership and their continued support of the Memorial Fund,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund. “This partnership will further bolster the Memorial Fund’s mission of honoring America’s Law Enforcement, as well as provide support for the Museum’s upcoming exhibition opening in September. We are grateful for their commitment.” 

 

Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the fallen, telling the story of American law enforcement, and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., which honors the names of all of the 22,611 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.  

 

About Bio-One 

Bio-One, a crime and trauma scene cleaning franchise, operates in 13 counties in Northeast Ohio. Bio-One is committed to providing excellent service in recovery and suicide cleanup, homicide cleanup, hoarding situations, junk removal, deceased animal recovery, feces removal, pest and rodent droppings and much more. Each Bio-One office is independently owned and operated by a member of the local community. For more information about Bio-One, visit us at BioOneAkron.com.

 

 

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Bio-One co-owner Babs Costanzo delivers first aid kits to Norton Police Chief John Dalessandro as a show of thanks during National Police Week.

Candlelight Vigil

May 13, 2021

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We sleep peacefully in our beds at night because brave men and women have dedicated their lives to serving and protecting. Bio-One works closely with law enforcement nationwide and we deeply value their relentless efforts and countless sacrifices. In recognition of last night's National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum Candlelight Vigil, we pay tribute to 394 law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. To the loved ones of the fallen, the entire Bio-One family sends our deepest gratitude and utmost respect. Thank you. You are not forgotten.

Hoarding + Spring Cleaning = New Beginning

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Spring cleaning is commonly associated with refreshing your home for warm weather ahead. While common activities include dusting, mopping floors, and removing clutter, Bio-One also sees an increase in hoarding remediation.

 

Maybe you’ve discovered a loved one is living in a hoarding situation and you want to help. Or you’ve inherited an estate and a trash or animal hoard was revealed. Perhaps you are living in a hoarding situation and have decided it’s time for help. 

 

No matter the circumstances, Bio-One provides care and compassion, and can customize a unique plan to meet your needs. 

 

We’ve had the pleasure to help many families throughout Northeast Ohio - from Lorain to Ashtabula, and Cleveland south through Akron, Canton and New Philadelphia.  The photo I shared is from a home we remediated this week in the Akron area.

 

The dwelling had been condemned by the city.  Our Bio-One technicians deployed quickly and restored the home to a safe and habitable place. And just as important is the compassion our techs bring to every job and every client.  That's the very foundation Bio-One is built upon:  Help First, Business Second.  

 

We're proud of our crew and all they do!  Below is another recent example of how our team made a home livable and safe again.

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Bio-One helps hoarders get their homes back in order and their lives back on track.  Let us know how we can help.

Disclosing death when selling a home

If you are planning on buying or selling home, then you're likely well versed on the entire process, from the initial offer to closing. But what if there was a death in the home? Does that need to be disclosed in Ohio?  Here's what you need to know. 

 

Property Disclosure Documents

No matter how perfect a house looks on the outside, there is often property information a buyer needs to disclose before the sale can go through. Property disclosure documents reveal known structural issues, neighborhood nuisances, hazards, HOA details, water damage, and notable repairs made to the home.

 

But are you required to disclose a death?  Rules for reporting a death in the home vary by state, and may include:

  • Timeframe: When the death occurred. 
  • How the person passed away: If the death occurred naturally versus due to negligence on the property.
  • Hauntings: If the seller has knowledge that the property is being haunted by the dead. 

 

So what are the rules in Ohio? Here are the details:

In Ohio, there is nothing in the law books that requires disclosing such an event on a property. However, the seller has an obligation to disclose any fact that could be relevant to the buyer’s decision to purchase the property.  There is no issue with a peaceful death, but in the case of a murder or suicide, disclosing it could prevent a potential lawsuit (consider the buyers will likely find out from the neighbors anyway!)

 

For a state by state guide on disclosure laws, you might want to visit this resource on Nolo.com

 

Remediating After a Death in a Home

If a death recently occurred in the home you're hoping to purchase, there may have been biohazards from bloodborne pathogens that required remediation.  It would be wise to ask the seller how the death was remediated to ensure proper steps were taken.  The cleanup process may vary depending on the location of the death, how the death occurred, types of flooring, and if the death was undiscovered for days or weeks. 

 

Bio-One technicians are trained and equipped to properly disinfect biohazards from bloodborne pathogens, and we ensure safe biohazard material handling and disposal. Once the entire area is cleaned of blood and body fluids, we also help property owners restore the location to its pre-incident state. 

 

If you are selling a home and need a biohazard remediated or want to ensure remediation was done correctly, give Bio-One a call. Our experts not only contain and disinfect the dangerous biological materials, we carry out our work in a caring and private manner. 

Request a service from your local Bio-One team.

Bio-One of Akron

Bio-One of Akron decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

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