Yes static is very bad, it may make the component dead, or it can cause a slow degradation which would result with a dead component after a few months. Worst part is, you may not even feel the static discharge, since it doesn't take much to kill a sensitive electronic device like a mobo. So make sure you ground yourself.
One short beep is good, anything else means something went wrong.
As for LEDs, best to check your manual to see what each combination of LEDs means what.