A fuse is a type of low resistance resistor that acts as a sacrificial device to provide overcurrent protection, of either the load or source circuit. Its essential component is a metal wire or strip that melts when too much current flows, which interrupts the circuit in which it is connected. Short circuit, overloading, mismatched loads or device failure are the prime reasons for excessive current.
A fuse interrupts excessive current (blows) so that further damage by overheating or fire is prevented. Wiring regulations often define a maximum fuse current rating for particular circuits. Overcurrent protection devices are essential in electrical systems to limit threats to human life and property damage. Fuses are selected to allow passage of normal current plus a marginal percentage and to allow excessive current only for short periods. Slow blow fuses are designed to allow higher currents for a modest amount of time longer, and such considerations are and were commonly necessary when electronics devices or systems had electronic tube tech or a large number of incandescent lights were being powered such as in a large hall, theater or stadium.