The fuse is a piece of wire which can carry a stated current; if the current rises above this value it will melt.
If the fuse melts (blows) then there is an open circuit and no current can then flow – thus protecting the equipment by isolating it from the power supply.
The fuse must be able to carry slightly more than the normal operating current of the equipment to allow for tolerances and small current surges.
With some equipment there is a very large surge of current for a short time at switch on.
If a fuse is fitted to withstand this large current there would be no protection against faults which cause the current to rise slightly above the normal value.
Therefore special anti-surge fuses are fitted.
These can stand 10 times the rated current for 10 milliseconds. If the surge lasts longer than this the fuse will blow.