I do power-up my backup HDs on a regular basis. On a couple of separate occasions, 2 of my HDs refused to start-up. I sent them for disagnostic, knowing that I had multiple backups. The repair company said that they were dead and if I wanted to rescue any data I would have to contact DriveSavers or a similar companys.
So, test your backup HDs regularly and have multiple backups. When you have a suspicious drive (weird noise, slow to startup, etc.), get a new one ASAP.