A shocking reminder

We are deep in the throes of winter 'round here (Bethesda, MD) and you know what that means - very dry air and tons of static electricity generated by walking across your carpeted floors. Reach out to the volume control on the preamp and ZAP! another blue spark causes a major THUMP thru your speakers.

My solution? Lay an anti-static dryer sheet (Bounce, etc.) on top of the preamp and touch it before anything else - PROBLEM SOLVED.

Try it, it really works...
Thanks for the advice.
(Rockville, MD)
Better solution - buy a humidifier and get the humidity up in your room. In addition to eliminating static, the whole system will SOUND better.
RW, Thanks for your idea, which I shall be trying in a system where the spark is actually uncomfortable to the fingers. Having the anti-static sheet on top of the receiver will remind me to do the laundry, no, no, will remind me to touch before turning on, or adjusting the volume.
Ah, yes, I remember winters around DC. I grew up in Kensington, and went through high school there (Walter Johnson, in Rockville). My best friend and I used to take our respective Dad's VW Bugs out in the snow and blast thru the snow drifts. Didn't own any audio gear back then (late 1950's). I thought DC winters were cold until my Dad got stationed in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for 2 years, which gave me a taste of REALLY cold winter weather (sometimes as cold as -35 degrees F.).

Your "static killer" idea is an excellent one which may also be useful to the folks living in the desert southwest (my son lives in Phoenix), so I'll pass your solution along. Thanks.
I agree with Mbhcid, I had a very bad static problem in winter and solved it with a humidifier. Although an anti-static dryer sheet might work (thanks for the idea) the humidifier fixes the problem instead of a Band-Aid.
Another way to deal with the spark problem is to hold a key or coin in your hand, and draw the spark to that instead of your skin. The spark will still happen, but you will feel nothing. This trick is handy to know for all the other metal things around the house that are not draped with Bounce.
Something like this may be useful. I haven't tried one myself (don't have the static problem here in NC), but other threads on this topic have suggested touching a grounded piece of metal BEFORE touching your equipment, some of which may react adversely to static discharge.

Another idea is to get some anti-static lotion (as I have. I think you can get it from any engineering lab supply outfit & Markertek.com might also have it). Apply it before listening session & it works great - no blue static arcs!
Agree with the "permanent" fix of setting the humidity level in the 40% range to avoid this problem altogether.
Take one ounce of Fleecy and 4 ounces of water and mix put it in a spray bottle and apply it to carpet. Works wonders on cutting down static. you can buy it premixed at about 50 times the cost of home spun.

Any fabric softner will do.

If you dont have a Humidifier take a large glass fill it with water and put it on heating vent if they are in floor. Also wrks well.
I once blew my speakers with this. I had a Sim Audio 1-5, when the static spark came on, the volume setting (electronic) went for ''o'' to ''50''. I could never get any damage $ from Sim for this, but apparently they have fixed the problem and made this amp somewhat static proof . Yet another reason why I ''love'' this company...hummm
I have a high-capacity humidifier and it still does not eliminate the problem - the Bounce sheet does...

Then don't drag your feet on the carpet!
I'm having the same problem -- one 'burb away from Bethesda -- and the contact point is my RB250 tonearm at the pick-up arm right next to my dynavector 10x5 MC. So there's a nasty little static shock millimeters from my magnets. Could these little charges screw up the cartridge ? The sensation I can live with, but a fried cartridge?