static electricitiy

The Effect of Static Electricity on Data and Business Electronics

Remember as a kid when you would rub a balloon on your sweater and lift it over your head to make your hairs stand? Static electricity occurs when two objects rub against each other as one object leases its electrons, becoming more positively charged, while the other collects electrons, becoming negatively charged. While the balloon example appears harmless, static electricity can be a danger as it can damage electronics and potentially initiate explosions. Read on to explore how static electricity can be potentially dangerous and how it can affect business electronics and data.

Static Shock Dangers

Creating static shock can be dangerous in particular situations. For one, gasoline or other airborne flammable materials in the air can create explosions when in contact with static shocks. In very rare, but possible situations, static shocks can be dangerous for those with pacemakers as well.

Static Electricity and Electronics

To ease the mind, it is rather quite unlikely that one would be injured from an encounter with static electricity, although that should not be counted out. On the other hand, computers, office machinery, and other electronics are more prone to damage caused by static discharge.

For one, electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the release of static electricity when two objects touch, in comparison to a scaled-down replica of lightening. ESD can be dangerous to circuit boards on the micro level. The reason being so, is energy from a shock reaches through the closest object, destroying integral elements along its path.

Ways to Prevent Damage to Equipment from Static Electricity

Other than being informed, it is imperative to understand the ways to prevent damage from static electricity to equipment. Try implementing the following preventative measures:

  • Make sure that technicians that work on electronic equipment should utilize a ESD wrist strap—It will help deplete charge away from circuitry
  • Do not use compressed air to clean circuit boards
  • To prevent static buildup, treat the carpets. If possible, invest in static proof mats if problem persists
  • Abstain from placing synthetic materials and items (ex: plastic, polystyrene) near electronic devices—these materials are known to cause static discharge
  • Apply only non-static forming sprays on electronic devices

Do not forget that static charges can potentially destroy electronic equipment. In order to avoid damage by static electricity, it is important to be precautious, informed, and aware. If needed, contact your electric company to make sure that your residence, office, or business is properly protected from power surges and electrical storms. Also, surge protectors can help ensure that your building and electrical systems are intact and correctly grounded. Lastly, having “Zones of Protection” in your building can make not only the electrical devices safer, but also the people and employees will be safe as well.

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.