An Auckland nightclub has been slapped with a hefty hit to the back pocket for covering smoke detectors in its building.

BB Nightclub, in the central city, was fined $4000 when sentenced in the Auckland District Court last week, after admitting it put plastic covers over 15 smoke detectors.

Auckland Council inspectors discovered the fire risk during an inspection in October last year.

The covers meant the fire alarm system was unusable and the building was left vulnerable and unsafe. Charges were laid against the nightclub under the Building Act.

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Auckland Council's building control compliance manager Wolfgang Nethe said the fine was a reminder that covering a smoke detector could seriously affect the performance of fire alarm systems and the safety of buildings.

"These systems are designed to keep people safe and it is everyone's responsibility to make sure they are compliant with the Building Act. The consequences of having an alarm system that doesn't work properly could be fatal."