Unplug the breadboard when rearranging the wires.
If you detect a burning smell, feel heat, see smoke, or hear a popping sound, immediately unplug the breadboard. If the IC chips are connected wrongly, they can burn, destroying the IC chip, the breadboard, and the surrounding equipment, as well as causing injuries. Be careful.
Orient components properly. For IC chips, the notch should always face up/north (or left/west, if in horizontal orientation). Misoriented chips tend to be disconnected and burn.
Handle the IC chips gently: Their legs are fragile.
To insert an IC, push gently straight down. If the IC chip
doesn't seem to fit,
shape the legs slightly with your fingers
and then insert it.
To remove an IC, lift straight up. If you pry the chip up (lifting one edge, then another), you'll bend the legs. The supplied picks are useful for lifting ICs and wires off the breadboard without bending them.
Store unused ICs in a tube so that the legs don't bend in storage.
Try to keep wires straight (along vertical/horizontal lines) and as close to the breadboard as possible. Ideally, you will not have wires crossing over each other or over other components.
Choose the shortest jumper wire corresponding to the distance to be traveled.
Arrange the components so as to minimize the length of jumper wires needed.
Use the distribution lines (the vertical columns) whenever you wish to connect to constant-high or constant-low voltage.