Aside from keeping the warm air from escaping, the doors act to keep the hearth clean just as a fireplace screen used to do in the olden days. With the doors closed, ashes and embers don't scatter about the room, keeping the carpet or rug clean and scorch-free. The doors also have built in devices that divert air towards the bottom of the fireplace. These vents make the fire burn brighter and easier to light.
Most fireplace glass doors are made of tempered glass with either ceramic or anodized aluminum frames. Glass is placed on the door so that the fire can still be appreciated even with the door closed. Most of these fireplace doors can be bought stock - meaning that most of the door that are for sale can be purchased off the rack and installed with minimal changes.