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I am using the latest version of Firefox with Adobe Flash plugin as a standard user on Windows 7.

I notice that I do not get notified of a pending update unless I happen to close and reopen my browser, which is something I do seldom.

Given the security risk unpatched flash poses, is there any way I can be notified of Flash updates while flash/Firefox is running?

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There is a plugin (of course) that allows better management of browser and plugin updates. I do not know if it has the ability to configure the frequency of update check, but it's probably worth a look:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/update-notifier/

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