In 2016, Jimmy Kuria watched as one of his properties was engulfed in flames despite having 22 fire extinguisher cylinders in the building. Through the help of his neighbours, the fire was contained, but already one floor of the three-storey building was damaged and property destroyed.
The affected floor was occupied by a running restaurant yet no one tried to put out the fire because the workers never knew how to use the extinguishers. “I realised that a lot more needs to be done when it comes to disaster management and preparedness,” he says.
So Kuria started training his employees on how to use the extinguishers. The challenge was that the extinguishers were too big, so he realised there was need for new fire-fighting technologies.
During his research, he came across a Thailand firm which was making Elide fireballs, a revolutionary fire-fighting technology that provides more advanced solutions than portable fire extinguishers. The balls self –activate in the presence of a flame without human intervention.
Jimmy started importing the product under his company La Miguela Holdings Limited in 2017. The firm has also been issued with certificate of conformity by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and is the sole distributor of the fireballs at Sh15,000 a piece.
“Elide Fireball come into two different sizes .The small one for cars and standard size for domestic, institutions and factories.The extinguisher, which is in form of a ball, has monoammonium phosphate, which is safe to use and no special skills are required to operate the ball. Also, no inspection and maintenance are required during the product’s five-year lifespan,”