A circuit breaker is an electrical safety device designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by an overcurrent or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow to protect equipment and to prevent the risk of fire. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.
Circuit breakers are made in varying sizes, from small devices that protect low-current circuits or individual household appliances, to large switchgear designed to protect high voltage circuits feeding an entire city. The generic function of a circuit breaker, or fuse, as an automatic means of removing power from a faulty system, is often abbreviated as OCPD (Over Current Protection Device).