FAQs CEN/TS 1187-Test 4 – Roof Testing

1. What is CEN/TS 1187?


The CEN/TS 1187 is a test standard that determines the performance of a roof when exposed to external fires. The test standard outlines 4 test methods with which a roof/roof coverings’ performance can be evaluated.


2. What does Test 4 of the CEN/TS 1187 standard entail?


This is a two-stage test incorporating burning brands, wind, and supplementary radiant heat.

A 230 mm long town gas flame acts as the burning brand. An under-pressure of 15 Pa is created on the underside of the test specimen to simulate the effect of winds of 6.7 m/s. Four (300 ± 5) mm combustion panels are used as the source of radiant heat incident on the specimens.


3. How many test specimens are required for this test?


Four (4) specimens, each of dimensions (840 ± 10) mm square, are required.


4. How are the specimens constructed?


The specimens shall be representative of the end-use roof construction. They shall include:


         I.  The deck and/or the supporting structure

        II.  At least one of the specimens shall have joints that will be used in the products tested


The location of the joints should be as follows:


         a) The joint in the insulation shall be on the specimen’s centre line. This joint shall run parallel to the line of fall of the roof when testing at 45°.

         b) One of the specimens shall have a lap joint on the specimen’s upper surface, on its centre line. The joint may run in either direction when

              the roof is tested horizontally and across the roof specimen when tested at 45°.


The specimen shall be made rigid by having a frame at the boundaries of the specimen constructed from a material with A1 reaction to fire classification.  Gaps between the frame and the specimen shall be sealed off by Mortar (3:1 sand: cement mix).


5. At what inclination are the roofs tested?


Specimens are tested at 45° for all tests, unless in tests where the specimen’s end-use application represents flat roofs of pitch up to 10°, which are tested horizontally. The specimens can also be tested at specific pitches.


6. How is Test 4 performed?


The test is performed in two stages: Stage 1-Preliminary ignition test with burning brands, and Stage 2-Penetration test with burning brands, wind and supplementary radiant heat.


Stage 1 of the test is performed on one specimen, while Stage 2 is performed on the other three specimens. Stage 1 of the test is performed for 1 min; the burning brand is directed up the slope of the upper surface of the specimen, starting at the centre.


Stage 2, specimens are exposed to the radiant heat for 1hr unless the specimen fails earlier. During Stage 2 of the test, the burning brands part of the test commences 5 minutes from the start of the test for a duration of 1 minute.


7. What are the failure criteria during the Preliminary ignition test?


I. Flaming of the specimen should not exceed 5 min

II. Flame spread in either direction shall be less than 381 mm


8. What is the field of application of the test results?


Results obtained from specimens tested at 45° apply to roofs with pitches greater than 10° but less than or equal to 70°.

When tested horizontally (0°), the test results obtained apply to roofs with pitches up to 10°.

Test results from specimens tested at specific pitches other than 0° or 45° apply to roofs of that pitch only.


9. How are the results from the Roof tests used to classify the roof?


Products tested according to CEN TS 1187-Test 4 are classified under Bʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4), Cʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4), Dʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4), Eʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4) and Fʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4).  Products classified in a given class are deemed to satisfy all the requirements of lower classes.

Based on the results derived from this test, your roofing can be classified following the EN 13501-5, with Bʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4) being the highest classification and Fʀᴏᴏꜰ(t4) being the lowest.