Literally static at rest, or stored energy. When this stored energy discharges to flammable materials or electronic equipment, the sudden burst of electricity can ignite fires, damage the circuitry inside sensitive electronics, or cause equipment to malfunction and disrupt or lose important data. This is called an ESD event.
Static electricity results from the exchange of electrons that occurs when two objects with different electrical potentials come into frictional contact. When people walk across a floor, the friction between the soles of their shoes and the surface of the floor generates static—also called walking body voltage.
The static that accumulates on the human body is the cause of most static events in spaces like call or data centers, 9-1-1 dispatch operations, laboratories, flight towers, and other spaces where operations rely on sensitive electronic equipment.