To guard against this, ancillary circuits have fuses. The most common type of fuse is a short length of thin wire enclosed in a heatproof casing often glass. The size of the fuse wire is the thinnest that can carry the normal current of the circuit without overheating, and it is rated in amps.
However, it is always advisable to check the circuit also, in case a fault in it caused the fuse to blow. For example, failure of an electrical component or damaged insulation on a cable can cause a short circuit, resulting in a sudden massive increase in current.
Wire and cable sizes are classified by the maximum amperage that they can carry safely. A complex network of wires runs through the car. To avoid confusion, each wire is colour coded (but only within the car: there is no national or international system of colour-coding).
The fuse box is often located in a cluster of components, as illustrated here. The box is shown with the cover off.