How to Ground Yourself Without an Antistatic Wrist Strapby Jane Williams
A static electricity discharge is an agent of death for many delicate computer components, and a simple tiny shock can destroy an expensive piece of equipment. Staying grounded removes the possibility of delivering one of these computer-killing death blows, but you don't need a special wrist strap to stay safe.
Work on a non-conductive surface. Grounding yourself does no good if you are generating more static every time you move yourself or your computer. Avoid carpeted areas or rolling chairs, as these create static with every movement. Rubber mats, under the computer or yourself, offer an additional layer of grounding.
Keep hair or fur away. As it's stroked, long hair or animal fur creates static that can transfer to the delicate components if it brushes against them. Tie your long hair back to keep it safely away from the computer, and keep all pets out of your work area.
Touch bare metal regularly to discharge any static buildup. As you know from the zap you get when you touch a doorknob in the winter, simply touching a bare piece of metal will discharge any lingering static electricity you may be carrying. Bare metal is best, as painted surfaces don't provide the best conductivity. Keep a metal object nearby and touch it before you work with any computer components. Touch it regularly as you work to prevent even the tiniest charge from building.
- check Lower humidity, such as in the winter, causes static to build quickly. Humidity levels between 35-50% are ideal for computer work.
- check Even the slightest movement can create static buildup, especially if you're wearing static-prone clothing. Dress comfortably while you work on your computer, and ground yourself periodically even if you don't think you've generated any electricity.
- close Always leave the computer components in their silver static-resistant bags until you are ready to use them. Ground yourself before removing them, handle them only by their edges and do not touch the metal parts.
Items you will need
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