Disconnecting the battery will insure you don't damage anything, but I hesitate to recommend that today. There are too many manufacturers building tricks into their cars to force you to go back to the dealer to have multiple computers unlocked. Simply replacing a bad battery can lead to all kinds of expensive repairs.
To avoid the chance of causing that heartache, just watch that any metal tool you use only touches the fuse box terminal, and no other metal part of the car at the same time. Actually, you have to really mean it to cause a problem, but it's worth mentioning. I had the most problems with stretched fuse box terminals on GM products, so I got to be pretty familiar with fixing them. If your car uses the same type, you'll see each one is a thin strip of metal about 1/8" wide, and folded over on top. That fold becomes squeezed too tightly, then the gap where the fuse terminal slides in becomes too wide. A small pick with a right-angle hook on the end works best. Poke it alongside, then under that fold, then try to pull it up gently. One end of that metal strip is attached solidly in the box. By pulling up, the pick will try to bend the fold, and that will stretch the unanchored end and close the gap.
If that doesn't work, use a straight pick and stick it in behind the terminal. That will bend the entire terminal closer to its mate and close the gap.
If the terminal is beyond hope, consider sliding another piece of thin metal into it, then slide the fuse in. The extra strip will take up the gap and force the terminal to make better contact with the fuse terminal. That extra strip has to have a wider area or a little part of it bent over on top to keep it from falling through into the fuse box. By this time, if you had to resort to this, the next repair is to replace the terminal. Most fuse boxes are made up of two or more parts of the housing that are snapped together. Once opened up, you'll see either a single wire going to the bad terminal, or it will be one of many on a strip of metal connecting them together. If it's on a strip, all of them must be removed together. For a single wire, just remove that one. The people at all GM dealers' parts departments have large kits of terminals for all their models. They can find what you need by the car's model, year, and application, or you can take the old terminal and they can match it up.
If you're more industrious, or as cheap as I am, you can visit a pick-your-own-parts salvage yard, and harvest a handful of terminals. This will give you the opportunity to experiment and figure out how to release the terminals. There's usually a hard-to-see plastic finger, or hook, molded into the hole, that must be pulled back, then the terminal can be pulled out by the wire.
Friday, December 29th, 2017 AT 6:44 PM