In an electrical circuit a switch is a ma-made device (commercially manufactured, or improvised) that is capable of creating a break in the flow of electricity—and then restoring it. An improvised switch is a set of electrical contacts mounted on a strip of wood or plastic or in a small plastic container. One contact is fixed (cannot move) while the other contact can be moved. When moved in one direction it opens a gap, cutting power through the circuit at that point.
When moved the opposite way, contact is restored and power flows again. Improvised switches are crude and often unreliable. Each one is hand made, and quality control is lacking.
Securesearch manufactures a range of about 20 improvised switches, using the type of commonly available parts and pieces obtained from electrical supply stores, hardware stores, lumber yards, home renovation centers, plumbing supply stores and hobby shops. Many of the improvised switches are of the “boobytrap” type in an IED, that target the expected action of an unsuspecting victim. The mousetrap is one of the most commonly-adapted devices, converted into a boobytrap switch.