Breaching Charges are shaped charges of plastic explosive designed to blow man sized holes in walls. The charge is the size of a thick notebook; it has a self-adhesive panel on one side and an adjustable chemical time fuse on the other.
To operate, the user peels the sheet of protective plastic film from the adhesive panel, then breaks the pre-scored fuse strip at the desired time delay (5 to 60 seconds in 5 second increments), pulls the primer, and dives for cover. An activated chemical fuse cannot be turned off, though a demolitions expert might be able to remove the fuse without detonation. Charges are insensitive to shock or bullets, and will only burn, not explode in fire.
A charge will blow a passable hole in most conventionally constructed walls. Multiple charges may be used to make larger openings; four, correctly spread out, will make a hole big enough to drive through. To blast through bank vaults or ship's bulkheads requires multiple attacks.
Charges do not make very good antipersonnel weapons but they can be used as "limpet mines" against vehicles or soldiers in battle dress. Breaching charges require only basic familiarization to use though a skilled user will get better effects.
Fire departments and rescue units often have a few breaching charges, used to free people trapped in burning or collapsed buildings. Charges made for such "civilian" use are striped dazzle yellow and black, and usually have a fixed 60 second delay.