Our smoke detector has no battery in it right now. We took it out when it started beeping because of a low battery, and we never put in a replacement. Good thing, too.
I've started exactly four house fires in my lifetime. Thank God that none of them were serious enough to cause any real damage. My first AND second were for the same reason. I was maybe twelve. I put a strawberry Pop Tart (the kind with the candy sprinkles on top of the frosting) into the toaster and went to finish getting ready for school. They never popped up. The sprinkles exploded after a short while and burst into flames. I walked into the room as flames and black smoke were pouring out of the toaster. We stopped buying that kind after the second time.
The third was in the bathroom. The power was out. We used an overturned paper cup with a hole in it for a candle holder (Mom's idea). The rest of the family went to bed, but I had a friend over. We stayed up late and passed out in the living room without heeding my mom's warning to blow that candle out. In the night it apparently fell, caught a stack of Reader's Digest on fire, and burned the wall a little before ultimately going out. That one still freaks me out if I think about it too much.
Yesterday, however, this little firebrand returned to the kitchen. I was frying taco shells for Robb's delicious chicken tacos (he made homemade guac, y'all!) and apparently wasn't being careful enough with the flaming grease. Whoops. A small fire started on the burner, and I had to employ my best blowing skills to put it out. Three tries later, it finally went out. It was a little nerve wracking, though. I grabbed the pan off the burner before IT could catch fire, and I stepped back. It wasn't really in danger of spreading, but...still...
I won't let it stop me, though. My track record is just that. Only something to be overcome, to be turned into stories and not repeated (except in the case of strawberry Pop Tarts...whoops). In fact, I just pulled a perfect chocolate chip cheesecake out of the oven. No fire!