SHAH ALAM: What should you do if you ever find a snake in your home?
Fireman Muhamad Hissam Sidik said first and foremost, anyone who encounters these reptiles should stay calm and not to panic.
"Upon spotting a snake inside their premises, the person needs to identify the whereabouts of the reptile or where it went, and remove children and other family members from the area.
"If the snake went inside a room, they should then close the door to prevent it from going to other places. This, however, should only be done if it does not pose any danger to the person.
"The person must also refrain from taking any action which can provoke or startle the reptile, as such a move can trigger the snake into becoming aggressive and attacking them.
"At the same time, call the 999 emergency line and request for assistance from authorities," said Hissam, who is the head of Selangor Fire and Rescue Department operations centre.
Hissam said the person who spots the reptile can also aid the authorities by taking note of its physical features such as colour and size, and identify its type, provided they have the knowledge.
Such information, he added, would be useful to the officers who respond to the case.
He said unless the person is able to identify whether the snake is venomous or otherwise, they must assume that it is and adopt a safe distance.
"Wait for the authorities to come and take necessary action. If possible, while waiting, observe the snake from a safe distance to see if it moves somewhere else.
"Taking picture of the reptile can also help authorities to assess the situation when they arrive, but only if it is safe to do so.
"The bottom line is, do not put yourself in danger just to take a picture.
"And of course, please do not attempt to get close to the snake to take a selfie," he quipped.
Hissam said the department receives an average of 12 snake-related cases every day.
Between Jan and Aug, the department received 4,108 cases. Last year, they responded to a total of 4,635 cases.
Hissam also furnished several cases where firemen were dispatched to catch snakes around Selangor today.
He said, at 12.40am this morning, Kuala Selangor firemen were summoned to a house in Sungai Buluh Sasaran where they caught a king cobra inside one of the rooms.
About 8.45am, firemen from the Serdang fire station were called to a house in Jalan Raya 6, Serdang Jaya, where they caught a two-metre-long python.
The snake was found asleep after it had devoured a chicken.
In Sungai Besar, firemen were called to a house in Jalan Sekendi, Sungai Burung about 9.20am.
There, they found a baby python inside one of the house's air vents. The firemen then caught the python before releasing it at a safe location far from human population.