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A game we all played as kids was to take a balloon, rubbing it on one’s sweater and blowing it so that it would stand on end. That was kids playing with static electricity. It was fun then and it still is fun now. But there could be bad consequences if one plays with static electricity the wrong way. One potentially dangerous situation is having gasoline or petrol in the air and playing with static electricity. The shock could ignite the petrol and cause a fire. It should be noted that apart from situations like this, one is not likely to be injured by static electricity. But his electrical components like computer can be damaged or totally destroyed by it. This is because static electricity is miniature lightning and has a huge impact that is destructive on circuit boards. It would destroy critical elements in the circuit board. Some of the ways the author outlines that one can protect his electrical equipment from static electricity are the following: technicians should dissipate the energy from the components by using an ESD wrist wrap, and do not use air that is compressed to clean circuit boards. The author notes that it is cheaper to be safe rather than to be sorry.

Key Takeaways:

  • Many people have played with static electricity when they were younger when they engaged in the fun activity of rubbing a balloon and blowing it.
  • Static electricity can be dangerous in several situations and one of those situations is when there is fuel or gasoline nearby.
  • Static electricity might not injure or kill a human when he comes in contact with it, but it can cause damage to electrical devices and destroy them.

“Basically, electrostatic discharge, or ESD, is a tiny, miniature version of lightning, and it can be just as destructive on the micro level of circuit boards. The energy from the shock travels through the nearest object, in this case the circuitry of the electronics, and destroys critical elements along the way.”

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