If the cable overheated, there could be a fire. The fuse prevents that happening, because its thin wire will melt and break the circuit long before the cable itself can heat up and burn. Some cars have only two fuses. One rated at about 30-50 amps protects components wired through the ignition switch — flashers, wipers, heater-motor and instruments.
The fuse box is often located in a cluster of components, as illustrated here. The box is shown with the cover off.
This means it must be connected using wires thick enough to carry 4 amps comfortably. Often the power consumption of a component will be stated in watts, which are found by multiplying amps and volts. The lamp in the example consumes 48 watts.
If the wrong-sized wire is used, or if a wire becomes broken or disconnected, this can cause an accidental short circuit which bypasses the resistance of the component. The current in the wire may become dangerously high and melt the wire or cause a fire.