There are meters and there are meters. A techie friend showed off an early digital multimeter that was built to be immune to any electrical mistreatment. Set it to resistance and stick the probe ends into a wall socket, you get a reading and no damage done. Test the resistance of the phone line, with its 48 volts when not in use, and get a reading of exactly 600 ohms, just like the phone company wants it to be.
Of course, that was light years beyond a $2.99 Harbor Freight multimeter that dies if you look at it funny