Fluorescein and poly(ethylene oxide) hose stream additives for improved firefighting effectiveness

Eric B. Chen, Antonio J. Morales, Chien Chung Chen, Alfred A. Donatelli, William W. Bannister, Bruce T. Cummings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A novel technique has been developed to accurately monitor levels of hose stream additives by adding a fluorescein tracer. A fluorescent agent system is proposed to control and monitor additives into hose streams. Fluorescent water streams also have the advantage of improved nighttime and low-light visibility. Poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) was shown in the 1960s to be very effective in fire hose streams, providing dramatic increases in hose stream pressure, reach, and volume. As is discussed in this paper, however, PEO fell into disrepute for firefighting operations. A reexamination strongly indicates the inaccuracy of previous misperceptions and indicates that PEO deserves reconsideration as being potentially powerful for greatly enhanced petroleum, ordnance, high-rise and impeded access firefighting, in which increased stand-off distances are desirable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-306
Number of pages16
JournalFire Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF)
  • Class A foam
  • Diethylene glycol butyl ether (DGBE)
  • Drag reduction
  • Fire hose stream
  • Firefighting
  • Fluorescein
  • Metering
  • Night time visibility
  • Poly(ethylene oxide)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Materials Science


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