• Extreme collection and storage of items in the home and in the yard.
  • Accumulation of combustible materials (newspapers, magazines and rubbish).
  • Blocked exits (doors/windows).
  • Narrow pathways in the home.
  • Rat and/or insect infestations.
  • Rotting food and/or used food containers.
  • Human and/or animal waste.
  • Long-term neglect of home maintenance.
  • Non-working utilities, such as heat, running water, sewer, refrigeration.

Hoarding is not limited to any age, race, gender or nationality. Hoarding behavior can begin early in life but is more prevalent in older adults. Hoarders can be of any educational or socio-economic level. They are unaware that their living circumstances pose a danger to themselves and to others. They are unable to change unsafe conditions on their own.

There is no need to be embarrassed or ashamed about this situation, we know only to well what you are going through! Hoarding is something which is quite common, we see it often, almost daily. Hoarding, Clutter, PackRat are terms commonly known as a proven medical disorder (OCD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder known as Compulsive Hoarding Syndrome.

We know that some individuals simply do not have time to pick up around the house, some individuals simply buy things that are not needed, some individuals simply collect everything. There are many individuals who have a house full of clutter, trash, and personal belongings which they simply do not need. These individuals are so overwhelmed that they don’t even know where to begin cleaning, so they do not… it just gets worse over time.

http://www.CTS-Decon-Training-Academy.com
http://www.CrimeSceneCleanTeam.com
http://www.CDC.gov
http://www.WHO.org
http://www.OSHA.gov
http://childrenofhoarders.com

Risks and Dangers of Hoarding

Increased Risk of Fire
The accumulation of combustible materials, such as newspapers, clothing and rubbish, can pose a severe fire hazard. The amount of combustible materials creates an extremely hot, fast-spreading fire that is difficult to suppress. Escaping the home in a fire can be impossible due to blocked hallways, doorways and windows. In addition, public safety personnel’s access to the home can be hampered or blocked.

Increased Risk of Structural Damage
The weight and volume of hoarded items, often stacked from floor to ceiling, can cause structural damage, which threatens the occupants as well as adjacent buildings.

Increased Risk of Disease, Injury and Infestation
The storage of hoarded items makes cleaning nearly impossible, which can lead to unsanitary living conditions and increases the risk of disease. The lack of regular home maintenance can result in the loss of running water, heat or refrigeration. Toilets and sinks may be unusable or inaccessible. Hoarding also increases the risk of injury. Stacked items can fall on someone, or they can cause people to trip and fall. Accumulated garbage can lead to rat and insect infestations.

Hoarding creates hazardous conditions that can increase the risk of fire; structural damage to the home; and disease or injury to the hoarder, other household members, neighbors and the community. Extensive storage of items in the home severely limits the hoarder’s day-to-day functioning.

Hoarding is not just a cluttered home or an extensive set of collectibles. Hoarding is the excessive storage of items in and around the home, to the extent that all available space from floor to ceiling may be occupied.

Hoarders keep an extreme, disproportionate collection of items, such as newspapers, magazines, empty containers, old clothing, paper, trash, rotting food, and sometimes animals.
Hoarders become emotionally attached to everything. They are unable to distinguish trash from treasures. Hoarding “feels right” to the hoarder, in spite of health and safety consequences.

Signs of Hoarding

  • Extreme collection and storage of items in the home and in the yard
  • Accumulation of combustible materials (newspapers, magazines and rubbish)
  • Blocked exits (doors/windows)
  • Narrow pathways in the home
  • Rat and/or insect infestations
  • Rotting food and/or used food containers
  • Human and/or animal waste
  • Long-term neglect of home maintenance
  • Non-working utilities, such as heat, running water, sewer, refrigeration

Hoarding is not limited to any age, race, gender or nationality. Hoarding behavior can begin early in life but is more prevalent in older adults. Hoarders can be of any educational or socio-economic level. They are unaware that their living circumstances pose a danger to themselves and to others. They are unable to change unsafe conditions on their own.

Animal Hoarding
While less prevalent, animal hoarding poses a serious health threat to the resident, the community, and the animals being kept.
Animal overpopulation in a home leads to unhealthy waste accumulation. It also leads to animal starvation, disease and decomposing remains of dead animals.
Typically, an animal hoarder is unaware of the filth and odor actually present in and around the home, and insists the animals are being cared for appropriately.