In a negative (-) earth-return system, the current flows from the positive (+) terminal to the component being operated. The component is earthed to the car body, which is earthed to the negative (-) terminal of the battery.
The side and tail lights, however, which you may need to leave on when the car is parked, are always wired independently of the ignition switch. When fitting extra accessories, such as a rear window heater which consumes a heavy current, always wire it through the ignition switch.
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, a component with a high current consumption must not be connected using wires which are too thin, or the wires will overheat, blow a fuse, or burn out.