In some device datasheets there is a caution about ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) precautions. These devices are prone to damage because of electrostatic charges made by human body. These charges may be up to 4000 volts and cause damage without being noticed. It is recommended to follow ESD precautions during manipulation of these devices.

I have bought a pair of gloves that the manufacturer claims these gloves will eliminate ESD risk . Is there any other thing that I should care about ( I even thought about putting a wire on my arm and connect it to the ground !). What are standard ESD precautions?

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The people that do testing and manufacturing at our company use antistatic wrist straps and ESD mats when handling potentially sensitive electronic components. There are also ESD floor mats available.

As Johnfound already pointed out, most devices are pretty resistant. But if you make ESD protected handling part of your production flow, you can be pretty sure that defects that occur during product lifetime are not the result of pre-damaged components due to ESD.

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There are special bracelets that to ground you safely. Of course you can use simple wire as well, but better connect it to the ground through 1..2MOhm resistor.

Be careful with your clothеs - use 100% cotton fabrics (or other natural) and not synthetic. Of course, there are special ESD clothеs and shoes, but for hobby work they are superfluous IMHO.

Be more careful in the winter season.

Remember, that even if marked with ESD precautions, most electronics parts and devices are pretty resistant to ESD, because they have internal protection circuits. So, don't be paranoid. :)

I (nearly) always say to myself: -

I need to handle that sub-assembly but, I (or it) may be charged up by static - so what is the safest place to first touch that sub-assembly so our potentials can equalize?

If you can't figure out an answer and you know the sub-assembly is sensitive to static, then that sub-assembly might as well be damaged. So, it's important to handle things correctly but its equally important to store stuff "safely" or know how to go back to it and make that first contact in a manner that doesn't cause static damage.

There is no option with chips - they have to be stored in things that can discharge static and before touching that chip, touch the "container" that houses it. Before putting the chip in the "container" touch the container to equalize potential differences.

They are my personal rules.

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