I just moved into a studio apartment -- unfortunately there's no door separating the kitchen and my bed. I've never noticed the sound of refrigerators before, but it's LOUD. It starts up at least once an hour, and wakes me up in the middle of the night. I heard that I can try to use acoustic foam to dampen some of the noise. Would it be a fire hazard?
A modern refrigerator can operate normally with three sides covered. If you block the grill at the bottom of the front it will not operate properly. It needs to exchange air to work right.
Normally they are manufactured with a couple inches of foam injected all around the inside compartment. I don't know where you could pack the foam that would quiet it down. If you cover the compressor with foam it may overheat and stop working until it cools down.
Might I suggest investigating a timer to shut it off at night while you sleep. If you are not opening it then it shouldn't need to run that often. this may affect how cold your milk is in the morning though.
Being an Apartment it's likely that the refrigerator has never been cleaned or regularly cleaned underneath & behind the bottom grill. Have the Landlord or Superintendent address this immediately for your enjoyment.
The refrigerator does all of it's breathing down there & if it's all clogged up it will struggle to operate. The inside of the refrigerator may be colding & freezing fine, but the components doing it may be cycling very frequently between overheating & recovering from overheating.
Unless you keep the Apartment's temperature very hot or open the refrigerator doors a lot it really shouldn't come on frequently at all.