Anti Static Mats
It is very important for many different types of companies to have several anti static mats throughout their office and other areas of their building, in order to protect their personnel and to protect their computer equipment as well. A surge in static or any type of electricity can mean injury to the staff as well as damage to all of the computer equipment. It can also in some extreme cases cause a fire, which would be devastating.
When looking to purchase an anti static mat for your company it's important to remember that there are differences in the types of mats you purchase and in their purpose and how they'll respond. A mat that is meant for anti-fatigue may not work to protect against electrical charge buildup, so you don't want to confuse this with anti-static mats. In some cases you can get both, but don't assume. Read the descriptions carefully when shopping.
Before you start shopping for ESD mats (electrostatic discharge), make sure you know what you need by way of size and how many you need as well. If there is any question about whether or not you need such a mat in an area of your company, it's good to get these anyway just to be safe. In some cases you may want to consider getting smaller ones that you can use to work around different areas with desks and tables, and some even interlock for the more awkward areas. Never underestimate how many anti-static mats you need and always use them when you have any question in any area. For best results, you want to make sure that your mat has a snap installed onto which you can connect a grounding cord. The grounding cord snaps into the mat on one end and generally has a small metal round connector on the other end to connect to a true ground. Most of the time the most easily accessible true ground is via the center pin on a three-prong AC outlet, but a metal cold water pipe works great too.
To find the best ones for you, it's good to shop online but you don't want to get overwhelmed when you do this. Use the phrase "anti-static mat" or "ESD Mat" so you find the ones that really are going to protect against electricity and don't need to sort through ones that are simply for comfort or that are meant for outdoor use. As you shop online, you'll want to compare prices and other features such as size and thickness. Different conductive mats come in different thicknesses, although the thickness of the mat will have absolutely no impact on how well it can dissipate static charge buildup. In general, the thicker mats simply have more of an anti-fatigue component, making them more comfortable for those who need to stand on them for longer periods of time, so keep this in mind for what you need for your facility and your staff.
Most companies have a multiple quote system in place where they need to find prices from at least three suppliers before they purchase anything including anti-static mats, and you may want to do the same. When you shop online you have the opportunity to look at as many different vendors and suppliers as you can find, so take that opportunity and get more than one or two quotes. When you really compare prices you may be surprised at how much you can save on anti-static mats for your company, and this may mean being able to have them in as many different areas of your office or building as possible.