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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Does Fingerprint Powder Work?

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Orange square with fingerprints all over it and text that reads, "who cleans up after a crime scene?" Who cleans up after a crime scene?

Human hands and fingers are covered in ridges that are formed at birth. Each person has their own unique set of ridges forming a specific singular fingerprint. Because of this, fingerprints can be an excellent way to identify who was at the scene of a crime if any are left behind on surfaces. Law enforcement has been using this technique for over a century to capture criminals. But how exactly does it work? 

The ridges are made up of rows of sweat pores that are constantly secreting perspiration. This perspiration along with oil and grease from other parts of the body sticks to your fingerprints and can be transferred to other certain types of surfaces. Think of when a piece of scotch tape gets stuck to the tip of your finger, when you remove the tape, an impression of your fingerprint is left on the tape. The same thing happens when a criminal breaks into a home and touches a marble countertop or door handle. The prints will remain on the surface long after the perpetrator has left the building. Law enforcement can then lay down fingerprint powder on these surfaces to expose any prints left behind. Since your fingerprint is unique to only you, your prints prove without a doubt that you were in fact at that location. 

If your property was the scene of a crime and law enforcement covered it in fingerprint powder, SERVPRO of Lexington-Bedford and SERVPRO of Watertown / Weston / Wayland / Waltham can clean it up. Removing fingerprint powder is a difficult task and can often ruin wooden surfaces, carpets, and paint. SERVPRO has highly trained professionals who can safely remove the powder from your property without damaging it.

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