Investigation Safety-Why It’s Important
As investigators, we venture into all kinds of places. Houses, abandoned buildings, cemeteries, ships…the list goes on. We know we have to be careful, but how seriously do we actually take our safety? I recently had the pleasure of meeting Elaine Davison from ParanormalSafety.com. After realizing that there was a lack of information regarding investigation safety, she decided to fill the void-along with the website, she has also written a pamphlet and a book, which she distributes and sells at events.
So, can an investigation really be that dangerous? Potentially, yes. Here’s why…
People- In general, the people who ask for our help in their homes or businesses are OK…they just need help. But there’s always a chance you might be dealing with someone who is mentally unstable or just looking for attention or drama. My case manager always does an initial phone interview so we can get an idea of what kind of person we will be working with. Never do an investigation alone. Ever.
Old buildings are not always structurally sound. Watch your step and stay out of blocked off areas. There are documented cases of people falling through floors. I was doing a residential investigation in an older house that had some renovations done and my leg went through the attic floor up to my thigh. After talking to the homeowners, they mentioned tools had frequently fallen through the floor as well. It might be wise to ask if there are any weak areas in the building before walking around!
Mold and mildew, asbestos, fiberglass insulation and animal droppings can all cause serious health issues with prolonged exposure and inhalation. Wearing a respirator can help prevent this. There is at least one known death of an investigator due to a lung infection believed to be caused by inhaling bat or rat
droppings stirred up at the residence she had been investigating with her husband.
Electrical issues can be very hazardous as well…assume all wires are live until proven otherwise and be careful around vents and pipes. Make sure to have flashlights hand while walking around at night. I learned this lesson when missing a huge step aboard the USS Hornet and ending up sprawled on the deck…moonlight is not always sufficient! Animal can also pose a threat-bites and stings can be potentially deadly and mosquitos, ticks and small mammals can carry disease.
Besides staying alert and aware, there are a few other ways investigators can be proactive in protecting themselves. Discuss safety during team meetings and before each investigation. Different types of locations will have specific issues to draw attention to. Make sure to bring a basic first aid kit to each investigation. You can also add disposable respirators and carbon monoxide detectors as well.
Elaine also suggests that each team member prepare a sealed envelope containing a completed personal medical form to be given to medical responders or a designated member in case of an emergency. You can download and print these forms from the Paranormal Safety website. You can also purchase Elaine’s book and complete safety kits on the site as well.
Most investigations turn out well, without injury, but we should always be prepared for “what ifs” and “just in case” and always investigate smart and safe
Article written by Melissa Rashid
Disclaimer: The following information has been provided to us and the article is based on the said information, we obtained. All allegations made are alleged, and the Paranormal Herald can not be held accountable for other parties information.
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