a fuse (short for fusible link) is a type of overcurrent protection device. Its essential component is a metal wire or strip that melts when too much current flows, which breaks the circuit in which it is connected, thus protecting the circuit's other components from damage due to excessive current.
Fuses (and other overcurrent devices) are an essential part of a power distribution system to prevent fire or damage. When too much current flows through a wire, it may overheat and be damaged, or even start a fire. Wiring regulations give the maximum rating of a fuse for protection of a particular circuit. Local authorities will incorporate national wiring regulations as part of law. Fuses are selected to allow passage of normal currents, but to quickly interrupt a short circuit or overload condition.