You can bet that most of the electronic projects you want to build contain at least some components that are susceptible to damage from electrostatic discharge. You can take a number of simple steps to prevent exposing your projects to the dangers of electrostatic discharge:
Use An Anti-Static Mat
An anti-static mat acts to reduce or eliminate the chance of static building up on your table and yourself as you work with an electronic device. You can find antistatic mats in both table-top and floor varieties. The table top mats look like a sponge but it’s really conductive foam. You can test the conductivity of the mat by placing the leads of a multimeter on either side of a length of the mat. Dial the meter to ohms. You should get a definite reading and not an infinitely open circuit.
Use An Anti-Static Wrist Strap
As a further aid in reducing static electricity, also wear an antistatic wrist strap when working on electronic gear. This wrist strap, like the one ground you at all times and prevents static build-up. This strap is one of the most effective means of eliminating electrostatic discharge and it’s one of the least expensive. Most anti-static wrist straps cost under $5 and are worth every penny. To use the strap, roll up your shirt sleeves and remove watches, bracelets, rings, and any other metallic objects. Wrap the strap around your wrist and make sure that it’s tight. Securely attach the wire from the wrist-strap to a proper earth ground, as the instruction sheet that comes with the strap explains.
Wear Low-Static Clothing
Your choice of clothing can affect the amount of static build-up in your body. Whenever possible, wear natural fabrics, such as cotton or wool. Avoid wearing polyester and acetate clothing because these fabrics have a tendency to develop a whole lot of static. A cotton lab overcoat not only looks trendy but it can reduce static electricity. Many chemical and industrial supply houses sell lab coats for reasonable prices. You also can find suitable overcoats, smocks and aprons at many hardware stores.