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Perfect Descent Auto Belay Certification
Perfect Descent Auto Belays Certified to 10X EN 341:2011 Class A
About EN Standards for Auto Belays
EN Standards set the bar for product safety, reliability, and quality around the world. All Perfect Descent model 230 Auto Belays with a manufacture date of July 2020 and later are certified to ten times EN 341:2011 Class A as directed by RFU PPE-R/11.128 Version 1. These harmonized European standards represent the most comprehensive testing requirements for commercial auto belays used in climbing gyms and similar vertical climbing activities.
Auto belays are more common and more frequently used than ever before, and directives for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the European Union close important gaps associated with the testing and certification of auto belay devices. RFU PPE-R/11.128 Version 1 recommends that Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) responsible for conducting EN certification testing, apply requirements of EN 341:2011 Class A, repeated at 10 times the descent energy performance, for lowering devices used in climbing gyms, on ropes courses, and in similar recreational applications.
The European Union designates certain organizations, referred to as Notified Bodies, to assess the conformity of certain products sold in EU countries. The European Coordination of Notified Bodies in the field of PPE is the forum to discuss questions related to the certification of PPE and is where working groups interpret examination procedures and quality control measures for a range of personal protective equipment including auto belays. Recommendations for Use (RFUs) are issued from these working groups for use by all notified bodies in the certification of applicable products. The European Test Center Group for PPE against falls from height (Vertical Group 11) has issued RFU PPE-R/11.128 Version 1 recognizing that auto belays used continuously in recreational settings should be assessed differently from industrial fall-protection applications, which the EN standards more specifically address.
The Difference Between Perfect Descent Class A and Class C Devices
Perfect Descent Auto Belays with a manufacture date of June 2020 and earlier are certified under EN 341:2011 Class C. So, what’s the difference between Perfect Descent Class A and Class C devices? In short, not much. They are both built to identical specifications and feature the same innovative design and high-quality components. Functionally, all Perfect Descent Auto Belays sold since 2012 are nearly identical, whether certified Class A or C. The primary differences between these units are the product labeling found on the side and back of the unit and the maximum allowed recertification timeframe. A manufacturer authorized technician must complete a periodic recertification for Class A devices at least once every 12 months, while Class C devices must be recertified at least once every 24 months.
All Class A devices are sold with our exclusive Duplex Spring Design consisting of two independent retraction springs that allow the lanyard to continue retracting in the event of a spring fracture. Many Class C devices already feature the Duplex Spring Design, and older single-spring units will be updated upon next service at no additional cost.
Are Perfect Descent Class C Auto Belays Less Safe?
No. Perfect Descent Auto Belays have always been designed with the safety of end users in mind. EN Standards establish minimum specifications for the examination and testing of certain products and is separate from a manufacturer’s design intent and performance benchmarks. Perfect Descent Class C Auto Belays feature the same innovative design and high-quality components as our Class A certified devices.
As with any life-critical device, it is essential for operators to adhere to manufacturer requirements for periodic inspection and recertification, removing any unit from service that performs outside of normal limits. As always, the periodic recertification timeframe for your device is considered to be the maximum amount of time that should lapse before a unit is examined by an authorized technician. Units with a high volume of use, those used in competition climbing, and units used in harsh environments may require more frequent service or recertification.
Can I Still Purchase Class C Devices?
Current model Perfect Descent Auto Belays are sold with the Class A certification only. If you currently own a Class C device, you can choose to upgrade the device to Class A upon the next recertification for a nominal fee, or you can continue to recertify the device as Class C at least once every 24 months. Unfortunately, older model 220 CR auto belays cannot be updated to the Class A certification. Contact your nearest reseller or service center regarding trade-in options.
Click here to learn more about auto belay recertification.
Click here for the Declaration of Conformity and EU Type Examination Certificate.