Cut Off the Nails On the Plates
After you've bashed the studs out of place, use a reciprocating saw to slice off the nails that held them down. Even if you're not planning to reuse the plates, it's a good way to avoid stepping on a nail. Make sure you use a bimetal saw blade; it'll slice right through the nails.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Close By
Every DIYer should have a fire extinguisher in the garage or workshop. A multi-purpose extinguisher is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association, as it is large enough to put out a small fire but still light enough to easily handle.