A climbing gear manufacturer has warned of fake versions of its products which have potentially dangerous defects.
Petzl issued the warning after finding Chinese counterfeit copies of their products on the market which do not perform properly and do not conform to standards.
The fakes, which include carabiners and ascenders, are virtually impossible for the public to distinguish from genuine products, the French company warned.
A statement said: “They have been reproduced in a way that makes them very difficult to identify. The following features have been reproduced nearly identically: design, colour, product markings, batch number, instructions for use, down to the most minor details, and packaging.
“Only an in-depth analysis allows us to identify these counterfeit products, due to minor differences in the tools used to produce them.”
Counterfeit versions of the equipment all failed when forces lower than the rated ones were applied. Models that have been counterfeited include the Croll B16 and Ascencion B17 ascenders, Rescue P50 pulley and Attache M35SL carabiner.
Petzl said only a few examples had been found on the market, but climbers and cavers buying the products should only use authorised retailers.
The company added: “Petzl is working hard to stop these counterfeits, which put users’ lives at risk, from reaching the market.”
Petzl products are distributed in the UK by Lyon Equipment, of Dent, Cumbria.