Why is fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) ever present in the UK fire industry?
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (often shortened to FUD) is a propaganda tactic used in sales. When IBM ruled the mainframe market, it used FUD to keep its customers from experimenting with other alternative mainframes. IBM salespeople would introduce fear - what if you tried these new or unproven concepts and they don't work? If that didn't work, they'd introduce uncertainty - who knows what these new computers can do? Our mainframes are proven, and you have a significant investment in them. Or, they'd use doubt - can you trust these guys? IBM never got into a technical debate (often because they would have lost that debate). Instead, they attacked the buyer's way of thinking, perspectives, and status. Can you afford to take a risk with unknown or unproven technology? Will these guys be around for 100 years like IBM?
FUD is often used by market leaders with little or no new product development to maintain their competitive advantage. It creates complacency and resistance to change and encourages other stakeholders to reject uncertainty and cling to any rationale to keep from changing, no matter how valuable the new options may be. The exploration of new technology is an integral part of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which states:
'Where the responsible person implements any preventive and protective measures, he must do so on the basis of the principles specified in Part 3 of Schedule 1.' Part 3 of Schedule 1 states under Article 10:
PRINCIPLES OF PREVENTION, adapting to technical progress.
We should look for new solutions to complement the old ones, as one size does not fit all. The variation in requirements is wide-ranging, and we need to keep up with how quickly we are changing how we live in our homes and the associated fire risks.