Bomb defusers of reddit , how accurate is the “red or blue cable” scenario from movies ?

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We don’t even defuse the bomb. We just move it to a new location and blow it up. It’s bad luck to not explode a bomb.


Most bomb defusings are controlled demolitions not cutting wires.


bomb makers could use any color wire they want


As a bomb defuser for over 42 years, I can say that wire colors don’t mean anything. The preferred manner of eliminating the threat is to either move it, or detonate it in place in a controlled manner. (Explosion tank, pit, etc) The most hair-raising detonation I took place in was in Northern Ireland in 1984. A bomb had been placed adjacent to a police station and had both a mercury switch (think of a electricity-conducting liquid that if “splashed”against an electrical contact and connects a circuit, a bomb explodes). This bomb looked like a simple pipebomb. but with 2 mercury switches we knew if it was moved in any direction it would explode. It was too large to explode in place and we couldn’t just leave it. I decided to go in and try to short circuit the switches by forcing a piece of cardboard/paper between the mercury switch and the metal contact point. So, I donned my expolive suit and walked to it. The first one took only a few moments to block off, but the second switch was much closer to the contact and nothing would fit. I finally figured out if I were to loop a thread around it, and pull back, that it would do the same. I had dental floss in my car, so I retrieved it, and knew it was strong enough to pull against without breaking. I looped it around the switch and gently pulled it away from the contact. It worked. I then took the bomb apart and disabled it. Taking the pieces to the dipsosal vehicle, a 3rd failsafe was discovered which essentially caused detonation if it were dropped and pushed in a plunger. I of course dropped it after tripping in the suit over a cobble stone street. It didnt go off. I picked it up and gently placed it in the vehicle explosion chamber and latched the hatch closed. 2 seconds after it was closed, it detonated. The plunger was a time-delay switch probably 10 seconds or so. I realized that I didnt see the delay switch and had anything been different I’d not be here.


The cables are all yellow. This is a very poorly designed bomb and we should tell someone when we get back.