In electronics and electrical engineering a fuse (from the Latin “fuses” meaning to melt) is a type of sacrificial over current protection device. 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, overload or device failure is often the reason 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. Over current 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 and of excessive current only for short periods.
A fuse was patented by Thomas Edison in 1890  as part of his successful electric distribution system.