One of the most common fiber optic sensor (FOS) types used are fiber Bragg gratings (FBG), and the most frequently measured parameter is strain. Hence, FBG strain sensors are one of the most prevalent FOS devices in use today in structural sensing and monitoring in civil engineering, aerospace, marine, oil and gas, composites and smart structure applications. However, since FBGs are simultaneously sensitive to both temperature and strain, it becomes essential to utilize sensors that are either fully temperature insensitive or, alternatively, properly temperature compensated to avoid erroneous measurements. In this paper, we introduce the concept of measured “total strain”, which is inherent and unique to optical strain sensors. We review and analyze the temperature and strain sensitivities of FBG strain sensors and decompose the total measured strain into thermal and non-thermal components. We explore the differences between substrate CTE and System Thermal Response Coefficients, which govern the type and quality of thermal strain decomposition analysis. Finally, we present specific guidelines to achieve proper temperature-insensitive strain measurements by combining adequate installation, sensor packaging and data correction techniques.