You’ve been zapped!

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Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and depending on where you live so is cold, dry air. That cold, dry air is a breeding ground for static electricity. If you’re not careful it can wreak havoc on the electronic equipment at your office desk.

According to Seattle NBC affiliate, King 5 and Chief Meteorologist Jeff Renner, there is more static electricity in winter because there’s less water in the air. When the air is warmer and there’s more humidity it’s easier for objects to shed excess electrical charge. In the winter it’s harder. The result is a shock, typically caused from one object rubbing against another. Like feet scuffling along the floor.

Depending on what you’re doing with your computer, managedIP Hosted phone or other electronic devices you could end up damaging some internal components. But there are ways to avoid being zapped. Here are a few hints.

  1. Watch what you wear
    According to lifehacker.com rubber soled shoes are great insulators and will build up a lot of static in your body when combined with wool or nylon carpet. They suggest wearing shoes with leather soles and/or wearing clothing made of cotton whenever possible.
  2. Get a humidifier
    You may not be able to bring one into work. But if you are able to bring in a humidifier you’ll want to keep the relative humidity above 30% according to lifehacker.
  3. Anti-static spray
    There are more than a few of these on the market that promise to make everything from your floors to clothing and just about every surface you come into contact with less conductive. A quick Google search will reveal lots of potential products.
  4. Use an anti-static mat or wrist strap
    I’ve seen these two devices mentioned several times online. They seem highly recommended for people who build or repair computers. I’m not sure that anyone else would really need to take it to this level. But to each their own.
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About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. Follow on G+.

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