Perfect Descent Auto Belays can be a valuable tool to help manage physical distancing and the flow of people in climbing gyms. Auto belay routes eliminate close contact with belay partners and restrict high-touch points to several easy-to-clean areas. While there remains a lot to be learned about climbing gym operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, climbing gym operators can take a few simple steps to consistently clean and disinfect Perfect Descent Auto Belays.
Cleaning and disinfecting are distinct processes, the combination of which, can lower the risk of spreading infection. As defined by the CDC, cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and other impurities from surfaces; this process does not kill germs but rather, lowers their numbers. Disinfecting refers to the use of chemicals, such as EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces.
The long-term impact of repeated and prolonged exposure to chemical disinfectants on the Perfect Descent lanyard is not yet fully understood. We are currently conducting tests intended to measure any potential reduction in material strength from applications of ethanol and isopropanol. Until testing is complete, we DO NOT recommend the application of any chemical disinfectant directly on the textile lanyard. A Lanyard Guard should be used when regular application of chemical disinfectants is desired.
The Lanyard Guard is a flexible protective sleeve that can be added to any Perfect Descent lanyard and fits snugly and securely over the lanyard leader. The Lanyard Guard creates a protective surface that can be repeatedly cleaned and disinfected while minimizing exposure to potentially damaging chemicals.
Certain chemicals are known to weaken the textile materials used in the construction of Perfect Descent lanyards and may damage other product finishes and labels. Please take care when using chemical disinfectants in your facility, and replace any lanyard suspected to have come in contact with chemical agents.
HOUSING AND CARRY HANDLE
Prior to disinfecting any part of the Perfect Descent Auto Belay, it must first be cleaned to remove chalk, dirt, or other contamination. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the device. If needed, a mild soap or detergent such as dish soap can be used. DO NOT use abrasives to scour the housing as they may damage the plating and labels. NEVER immerse the product in water or other liquid. If water gets into the housing, hang the device and slowly extract the entire lanyard, allowing the water to run out of the nozzle opening at the bottom of the device. Leave the lanyard extracted until dry.
After cleaning the auto belay outer housing, wipe down the surface with a clean cloth sprayed with 70% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. DO NOT dilute. Allow the device to air dry in a clean environment and away from heat sources, open flame, and direct sunlight.
LANYARD AND CARABINER
The Perfect Descent lanyard and carabiner are high-touch points that may require more frequent cleaning and disinfection than the rest of the device. Care should be taken to avoid any chemical contact with the textile lanyard, and a Lanyard Guard should be used when repeated chemical disinfection to the Lanyard Leader (the black portion of lanyard directly above the carabiner) is desired. NEVER store a wet or damp lanyard while retracted in the unit.
1. Remove the lanyard from the device;
2. Hand wash* using a mild soap or detergent in cold or warm water, NOT hot;
3. Dry the carabiner with a clean cloth and allow the lanyard to completely air dry in a clean environment and away from heat sources, open flame, and direct sunlight;
4. Inspect the carabiner for proper function and lubricate as needed;
5. Reinstall the lanyard.
*Note: While hand washing is recommended, you can wash your lanyards in a washing machine (without agitator), on gentle cycle, with a mild soap or detergent. Even when taking care to pad the carabiner, damage may occur to the interior surface of the machine’s drum. NEVER place your Perfect Descent lanyard in a dryer.
Perfect Descent is currently testing the effects of repeated and prolonged exposure to certain disinfectants on our lanyards. At this time, we DO NOT recommend the application of any chemical disinfectant directly on the textile lanyard. A Lanyard Guard should be used when regular application of chemical disinfectants is desired.
To install the Lanyard Guard, simply remove the lanyard from the auto belay and thread it through the tubing. [Watch Installation Video for step-by-step instructions.] Reinstall the lanyard. Once installed, use a clean cloth sprayed with 70% ethanol or 70% isopropanol to wipe the Lanyard Guard and carabiner and allow to air dry. DO NOT allow ethanol or isopropanol to contact the lanyard as this may weaken the lanyard. The use of ethanol or isopropanol on the carabiner may require more frequent lubrication of the gate hinge, swivel, and collar. Remove any carabiner from service with a gate that does not properly close and lock.