What are the most common methods for grounding yourself?
Common methods of properly grounding yourself are prioritized in order of effectiveness below (1 being most effective, etc.):
- Anti-static wrist straps – with this method you are grounded 100% of the time, it's not possible to discharge electro static energy to the computer because it is discharged through the metal contact point on the strap.
- Grounded ESD mats (for the work bench, not the floor) – ESD mats or flooring are only truly effective if those mats are grounded, this method should be used in conjunction with #1.
- Anti-static floor mats, simple rubber flooring is NOT ESD safe – better than carpet, but does not prevent static electricity from building up.
- "Discharging" yourself by touching a piece of metal or the case.
A key element commonly disregarded in ensuring you and your computer remain safe from ESD is humidity. Dry atmospheres lend themselves to allowing electro static energy to be accumulated, adding a humidifier to a room or production facility is extremely beneficial in ensuring ESD safety.