The bow string is one of the most important parts of your bow, both for safety and accuracy. In both cases you want to make sure your string is in the best possible condition.
Safety wise, a weakened string that breaks while shooting can result in serious injuries. A broken string flailing about can result in deep cuts and possible severed digits. A lot of times when a string breaks other parts of the bow will also be launched towards shooters at high rates of speed.
Accuracy wise, a weakened string will greatly affect your arrow grouping. Buy being able to identify the early problems of a string going bad on the accuracy side of the equation, you can later avoid the safety issues.
The first thing that happens to a string is it will actually stretch with shooting. When a string starts to stretch you will notice that your peep sight won’t stay put. Also you will notice that you are starting to hit low. If you start out hitting right on, but after 50 shots or so you are hitting low, this is a prime example of a stretched string. Also when a string becomes long it will mess up the timing of the bow. This will really mess with your accuracy.
Fraying of a string will also lead to accuracy and safety problems. Areas to check for fraying are around the peep, where the cam rolls over, on the bus cable and the knocking point.
If you start seeing fraying in either the serving or the string its self, I recommend replacing the string. At this time I also recommend replacing of the bows cables also. Remember, the cables have just as many shots as the string that has become weakened.
When replacing strings or cables on a bow, be sure you know exactly what you are doing. Make sure the timing of the bow is correct when you are done. If you are not 100% sure of what you are doing, you should seek the services of a reputable archery pro shop.