The Fear of Touching The Door Knob

If you hang with me right now, you are likely to hear me utter a bad word. That bad word usually occurs when I reach for the door or touch something metal immediately followed by the crackling sound of static shock.

I hate the season of static electricity.

I remember growing up living in a home that had shag carpet. That stuff could really generate a nice spark. It was funny to rub my shoes on the carpet and touch someone on the ear but you would have to do it with the expectation that you would also be shocked unless you had a metal object in your hand.

Static electricity usually happens when it is cold and dry and I hate it. It almost always catches me by surprise.

So why does this happen?

It happens when we collect electrons which are negatively charged and when they come in contact with metal, they jump to it. The speed of their quick movement causes the tiny shock that we feel.

Can we stop it from happening?

Having a humidifier helps. This helps deal with the dry air but unfortunately we can’t always carry a humidifier around in our pockets. You could use Static Guard spray but the smell for that spray is really difficult to deal with. It also wears off.

Static electricity can be dangerous too. The danger of static electricity comes when the transfer of charge is so great that it creates a spark. One of the most common dangers of static electricity is when refueling a vehicle. If the driver is carrying excess electrons, it could create a spark when they touch the fuel pump and risk igniting gasoline. Another danger is electrical shock. When an object builds up too much electrical charge within means of release, you could risk electrocution if you touch a charged object.

Okay, enough of the scary stuff.

There are some things that you could wear but would you really want to wear them? There are anti-static wrist wraps which is connected to a wire that connects to your belt. That doesn’t sound very comfortable. I think I would rather survive the spark than wear some goofy wrist wrap attached to my belt.

There is almost no way to avoid getting shocked from static buildup but there are some things that can help:

#1 – Touch metal with your knuckle instead of your finger. There are less nerve endings there. You’ll still get a crackle but it won’t be as electrifying.

#2 – Carry a metal object in your pocket like a coin or paper clip and use the object to touch metal first.

#3 – Wear leather soled shoes and cotton socks. In fact, wearing cotton will help reduce static.

#4 – Keep your skin moisturized. Dryness is the key culprit. The more you can stay moisturized the better.

I had hoped to give you some magical solution to protect us from the annoyance of static shock but it seems we have no choice but to get a charge out of life.