Blood Drying Cabinets | Biological Evidence Storage
After law enforcement officials thoroughly document and locate evidence at a crime scene, it's time for collecting that evidence. That process typically begins with collecting evidence that's the most fragile or at the highest risk for getting lost. It's impossible to determine the amount, day, or time forensic departments may receive evidence.
Because investigators might need evidence processing when no one is available, they must put evidence in a locker or a blood storage cabinet. That way, evidence remains safe and secure without the worry of DNA cross-contamination.
A blood drying cabinet provides a secure and ventilated area to dry wet blood evidence. Blood might be biohazardous, so law enforcement officials must take every precaution during storage procedures. Law enforcement agencies can use a blood drying cabinet to protect the integrity of samples collected at a crime scene.
Understanding Blood Drying Cabinets
A blood storage cabinet works with an internal blower that produces airflow to speed up the drying process. The airflow exhaust filters through a carbon and HEPA filtration system. Those filters help protect law enforcement officials from pathogens that might be in blood or other body fluids.
Blood drying cabinets are also ideal for securing the chain-of-custody for air drying biological and blood evidence. Because it's possible for cross-contamination to occur when drying blood evidence on other surfaces, including examination tables or evidence rooms, this lack of security can compromise an investigation. A blood storage cabinet provides a safe and tamper-resistant place for drying and storing this evidence.
Blood drying cabinets feature designs specifically for:
- Ensuring the safety and well-being of individuals handling biohazardous materials
- Reducing the risk of cross-contamination by protecting the integrity of blood evidence
- Effectively drying evidence to preserve DNA material
Why Law Enforcement Agencies Should Use Blood Drying Cabinets
The actions law enforcement agencies and crime scene investigators take at a crime scene play a pivotal role when resolving cases. A careful and thorough investigation is critical to ensure potential evidence is not destroyed or tainted or that they're not overlooking any potential witnesses. One of the most crucial aspects that law enforcement agents face when securing a crime scene is preserving evidence to ensure minimal contamination.
When blood evidence collection occurs, it goes into a storage bag for biological samples at the crime scene for processing. Before storing blood evidence, it must dry out thoroughly. This wet evidence transports to the blood drying cabinet in plastic, but these materials' storage should never occur in plastic after it's dry. Drying areas shouldn't have exposure to the sun, and they should have temperature controls. Commercially manufactured blood drying storage cabinets are the preferred method.
Here are some additional reasons why law enforcement agencies should incorporate biological evidence storage into their building and design:
- Prevents any blood evidence from coming into direct contact with sunlight
- Storage for all biological evidence is in a temperature-controlled area.
- Agencies can maintain blood evidence according to ideal storage conditions.
- Allows for frequent monitoring to ensure there are no issues with humidity or temperature
- Maintains the chain-of-custody
Law enforcement officials and crime scene investigators receive evidence in one of two ways – wet or dry. Some evidence must remain in liquid forms, such as blood draw samples. Others, including blood-soaked garments, must be thoroughly dry. That way, technicians can store them for testing in the future.
Failure to dry blood evidence properly can result in the probability of bacterial growth occurring and destroying these materials. That could lead to the preclusion generation of DNA test results. That means the first task anyone handling this evidence should complete is drying it out thoroughly in a blood drying cabinet.
How Blood Evidence Storage Improves Efficiency
Because the blood evidence relating to a crime provides information regarding how to solve the case, it is crucial for officials to collect, document, and preserve it correctly. If officials don't handle this evidence properly, it can destroy or weaken the information necessary for solving the case. For example, blood evidence can establish strong links between suspects and criminal acts.
Incorporating blood drying cabinets into a law enforcement agency's building design allows officials to achieve their goals of preserving blood evidence efficiently. They can present this evidence to judges and juries several years after the criminal act's occurrence. Crime scene investigators should routinely meet with the crime lab's forensic scientists to determine the most suitable methods for collecting and preserving blood evidence. That way, they're ensuring that they're collecting blood evidence effectively and efficiently.
When forensic labs have access to blood drying cabinets, that means they do not have to worry about contamination or airflow issues. Instead, the lab technicians know that this blood evidence is drying securely and thoroughly without the risk of contamination. Having that knowledge increases efficiency because lab technicians can process other evidence forms while waiting for blood evidence to dry. Efficiency further increases because these cabinets are easy to maintain and customize according to the lab's needs.
Benefits and Features of a Blood Storage Cabinet
Blood drying cabinets provide cost-effective containment and storage solutions for forensic evidence as a constant flow of air dries blood evidence. These cabinets also isolate and separate evidence between unrelated cases. That way, cross-contamination does not occur.
Additional benefits include:
- Ability to use ambient air
- Compact blood drying cabinets help conserve space.
- Maintain the chain-of-custody
- Only those with authorization can remove blood evidence.
- Shortened drying cycle
A blood storage cabinet features several components that can adjust or remove. That way, there's more flexibility when drying blood evidence. For example, a blood drying cabinet features a removable mesh screen that positions over the floor drain. Technicians will also find a removable drip pan in the cabinet's base.
Additional features include:
- A removable hanging rod
- Door containing a combination lock
- Fine mesh floor screen featuring a magnetic door gasket
- Louvered door vents featuring a replaceable filter
- Stainless steel interiors with double-wall construction and three removable racks
How a Blood Storage Cabinet Benefits the Military
There are instances where the military police must secure and dry blood evidence. These officials must overcome the burden of proof with the help of forensic science. Evidence including blood, DNA, and gunshot residue, must remain safe and secure the preserve their integrity. Utilizing blood drying cabinets ensures that the military police can air dry blood evidence securely and other kinds of biological evidence.
Advanced blood evidence drying and storage solutions for the government, military, and private sectors include:
- Airflow: Utilizes horizontal airflow
- Compliance: Construction and performance specifications exceed or meet operational standards to ensure safety
- Filtration: a HEPA filter traps biological material and particulates
- Protection: The controlled airflow for drying blood evidence in the cabinet protects personnel from particulate hazards
Technical Specifications and Design
As crime scene investigators continue collecting blood evidence, so are the needs for better-designed material handling solutions. It isn't uncommon for law enforcement agencies to turn to in-house engineering teams for these drying and storage solutions. Architects and designers provide innovative drying and storage solutions for the athletic, education, legal, and military industries, and more.
General Technical Specifications:
- Louvered doors
- Modular construction
- No assembly required
- Stainless steel exterior and interior
Safe and Effective Blood Evidence Storage Solutions
Evidence rooms across the country need a safe and efficient place for drying blood evidence. Incorporating blood drying cabinets into new floor plans or existing buildings and design plans means officials can access these areas. One way to incorporate blood drying cabinets into evidence storage is by including them in evidence lockers.
Evidence lockers are available in pass-through and non-pass-through configurations to make storage and retrieval even more secure. They can also be designed with integrated drying cabinets so you can have all of your evidence stored in one place. The technical specifications and design for each of these solutions vary according to their height, storage capacities, weight, and more. Here are a couple of examples:
Model: 7 Evidence Lockers-34 Total Openings: #SSG-EVL-7_Wide-34_Total_Openings
- Base construction: 14 gauge steel
- Dimensions: 14'0" (168") Wide x 2'0" (24") Deep
- Door construction: 18 gauge steel with anti-pry tabs
- Frame construction: 18 gauge steel
- Locks: Stainless steel push-button featuring a one-piece removable design
- Sustainability: Reconfigurable design featuring 75% recycled steel
Model: 3 Evidence Lockers-26 Total Openings: #SSG-EVL-3_Wide-26_Total_Openings
- Base construction: 14 gauge steel with floor levelers
- Dimensions: 9'0" (108") Wide x 2'0" (24") Deep
- Frame construction: 18 gauge steel with two resistance welds on each corner
- One-piece door construction: 18 gauge steel with a nickel-plated door handle
- Locks: Pre-lubricated stainless-steel push-button lock tested through 40,000 cycles
- Sustainability: Reconfigurable design constructed from at least 75% recycled steel
When law enforcement agencies have expert designers on staff, it's possible to experience integration with existing evidence storage cabinet and locker solutions. Implementing blood drying storage cabinets into law enforcement agencies involves going through several architectural and design phases.
Architectural and design phases:
- Spec creation following a thorough evidence room evaluation
- Creation of CAD drawings and plan presentation
- Integration of the design project with existing storage systems
- Installation of blood drying cabinets
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Storage Solutions for Blood & Biological Evidence
Southwest Solutions Group® provides innovative solutions to law enforcement agencies in need of high-quality blood evidence drying solutions. For more information or to speak to an evidence storage specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.